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Ladies so close to upset

Posted on 7 March 2011  - 12:00

Spurs Ladies came from 3-0 down to take Premier League side Millwall Lionesses to penalties in semi-final of the London Cup - only to lose 6-5 in the shoot-out.

Ladies so close to upset

Spurs Ladies came from 3-0 down to take Premier League side Millwall Lionesses to penalties in semi-final of the London Cup - only to lose 6-5 in the shoot-out.

The ladies went into Sunday's test standing proudly top of the South-East Combination while the Lionesses are struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League - but still two levels higher.

That class looked to be telling when Millwall stormed into a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes. However, with no substitutes named, they were also down to 10 players after an injury.

Manager Karen Hills changed formation from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 for the second half but Millwall started the brighter and soon made it 3-0 following a scramble from a corner.

Spurs continued to push forward and got back into the game when Bianca Baptiste was upended by the goalkeeper just outside the area. The keeper received a yellow card and Emma Kayser (pictured above) struck home the free-kick for 3-1.

The next flashpoint arrived with 15 minutes remaining and saw the Lionesses down to nine players.

This time the goalkeeper came rushing outside the area and handled, leaving the referee with no choice but to show a second yellow card.

Spurs now had the upper hand. Sam Pittuck slottted home for 3-2 with 10 minutes to go and in the 88th minute, Kirsten Thomson fired home to take the game into extra time.

Millwall's nine players took credit for their defensive show in extra time and with no further goals, it went to penalties with the home team running out 6-5 winners and heartbreak for Karen's team.

Karen said: "I was so proud of the team. We showed great character to come from 3-0 down against a Premier League side.

"There were many positives to take from the game and it was a great experience for the ladies to play against higher-grade opposition.

"I was a little disapppointed not to have won as we had the advantage going into extra time, but credit to Millwall, who played well with only nine players. We wish them well in the final."

The title-chasing ladies travel to Braintree in the South-East Combination on Sunday.

Spurs Ladies: Ebony Gooden, Rhya Vyse, Derrie O’Halloran, Robin Downie (Jess Cheeseman), Ebony Heath, Sam Pittuck (c) Nicola Cable, Emma Kayser, Kirsten Thomson, Rosie Webb (Jenna Schillaci), Bianca Baptise.