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Champions! Spurs Ladies clinch title at White Hart Lane

Posted on 19 April 2017  - 21:00

Spurs Ladies' dreams came true as they saved their greatest-ever achievement for a night of glory at White Hart Lane.

Jenna Schillaci lifts theFAWPL South trophy at the LaneBianca Baptiste in actionWendy Martin converts for 2-0Wendy Martin celebrates the secondNikita Whinnett is congratulated after making it 3-0Bianca Baptiste drills home for 4-0Bianca Baptiste celebrates with Nikita WhinnettBianca Baptiste runs to manager Karen Hills

The team dominated from start to finish to beat West Ham 4-0 and secure the FA Women's Premier League South title with three matches still to play.

Goals from Josie Green, Wendy Martin, Nikita Whinnett and Bianca Baptiste stretched their record to 16 wins and a draw in 17 matches, scoring 49 goals and only conceding six.

It was the perfect way to secure the title and a crowd of over 2,000 stayed to watch skipper Jenna Schillaci lift the trophy on the hallowed turf.

Spurs now face a play-off against FAWPL Northern champions Blackburn Rovers for a place in Women's Super League 2.

Below: Karen Hills with skipper Jenna Schillaci

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Manager Karen Hills said: "What an achievement! To come to White Hart Lane, win 4-0 and clinch the title, it doesn't get better than that.

"It's taken a long time to get here, a lot of hard work from a lot of people. Full credit to all the players, the staff and thanks to the Club for all their support.

"West Ham have improved a lot over recent weeks but we were patient and did a professional job. The first goal from Josie was important and the second from Wendy at the start of the second half settled everyone down.

"How can I sum it up? Incredible. I'm so proud. I didn't win a league title as a player - I won the FA Cup - but now we've won two titles here, the South-East and now the Southern Division.

"We've had such momentum and belief and that showed again. It was a dream.

"The thing is, it doesn't end here. We've won the title and the Boux Avenue Cup already, but we've two more cup finals to come, plus the league play-off against Blackburn.

"This team doesn't want to stop here. The players are so focused. We will all enjoy tonight but then it will be onto the next game."

If there were any nerves ahead of taking the main stage, they'd disappeared by kick-off.

It took just five minutes for the first effort at goal - Renee Hector's header onto the roof of the net - and Spurs had struck the crossbar through Martin by the time Green hit a spectacular opener on 20 minutes. Picking the ball up in space centrally, she let fly from 30 yards and Lottie Ivison could only tip the ball into the net. Green was outstanding and covered every blade of grass.

The only surprise was that it stayed 1-0 until half-time. Lucia Leon, Bianca Baptiste twice, Kelley Blanchflower and Riana Soobadoo all tried their luck with the pick Blanchflower's chance as she strolled onto Martin's pass and eased past Demi Brown only for Ivison to deny her one-on-one.

It took six minutes for Spurs to double their lead in the second half. Green sprayed the ball wide to Baptiste and her cross to the near post was turned home by Martin.

Shannon Albuery tested Toni-Anne Wayne from distance on 63 minutes but play was soon back up the other end as Baptiste was denied by Ivison.

The third goal put the issue beyond doubt on 70 minutes. Substitute Nikita Whinnett intercepted Ivison's short goal kick, played a one-two with Martin and finished sublimely with the outside of her right foot.

Ivison kept Baptiste at bay again five minutes later but the lively winger - and scorer of spectacular goals - was not going to be denied and finally claimed the goal she deserved on 83 minutes. Maya Vio slid in a pass and Baptiste swept home first-time from 16 yards for 4-0.

Spurs Ladies: Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon, Jenna Schillaci, Renee Hector, Leah Rawle (Maya Vio, 44), Josie Green, Sophie Mclean (Eartha Pond 81), Riana Soobadoo, Bianca Baptiste, Wendy Martin, Kelley Blanchflower (Nikita Whinnett 60). Substitutes (not used): Megen Lynch, Shannon Moloney.

West Ham Ladies: Ivison, Mackie, Auguste, Cooper, Wheeler, Brown, Locke (Melfald 68), Chong, Peters (Bent 86), Albuery, Burr
(Bailey 78). Substitutes (not used): Smith, Dunning.

Attendance: 2,140.