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20 games, 19 wins as Spurs Ladies march on in the FA Cup

Posted on 10 January 2017  - 12:00

It might be New Year but it's the same story for Spurs Ladies, who stretched their remarkable run to 19 wins and a draw in 20 games so far this season with victory in the Women's FA Cup on Sunday.

Spurs celebrate Bianca Baptiste's goal - all photos: Wu's PhotographyRiana SoobadooKelley BlanchflowerBianca BaptisteJenna SchillaciJosie GreenLucia LeonWendy MartinMaya Vio celebrates after scoring the vital openerSophie McLeanBianca Baptiste and Maya VioBianca Baptiste celebrates her second and the team's third

Spurs were made to work hard for victory by Gillingham but three goals in the final 15 minutes saw them safely home at Cheshunt FC.

That has set-up a cracker in round three against Blackburn who, like Spurs, remain unbeaten in the FA Women's Premier League. Rovers have won eight of nine in the Northern Division while Spurs have nine wins in 10 to top the South. That tie is scheduled for February 5.

Spurs remain alive and kicking in all five competitions - top of the FAWPL and in the semi-finals of three cups - the League Cup, Capital Cup and Boux Avenue Cup, plus this progress in the Women's FA Cup.

Next up, another huge match in the FAWPL against old rivals Charlton at Cheshunt on Sunday.

Below: It's a celebration pile-up after Maya Vio opened the scoring against Gillingham

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SPURS LADIES 3-0 GILLINGHAM
Women's FA Cup, second round

Report from Khalid Karimullah at Cheshunt FC, Theobalds Lane
Photographs with thanks via Wu's Photography

Spurs Ladies’ return to proceedings after three-week break couldn’t have been better, following an end-to-end 3-0 win over Gillingham Ladies to advance through to the third round proper of the Women’s FA Cup.

Karen Hills’ side came out the blocks flying. Bianca Baptiste burst away down the inside right channel to the byline, but Katie Startup ensured her cross wasn’t to find Nikita Whinnett waiting to tap home. At the other end, Fliss Gibbons looked to test Toni-Anne Wayne from 20-yards and her low struck drive was gathered by the commanding goalkeeper.

Jenna Schillaci’s corner was floated towards Renee Hector at the near-post who came within inches of heading in if not for Startup’s vital touch. Kelley Blanchflower spotted Startup off her line and looked for an audacious chip from 25-yards, only for her attempt to dip past the right-hand post.

The visitors came within fingertips of taking the lead. Grace Seely’s neatly struck attempt cannoned back off the post towards Gibbons who looked to power in, but Wayne quickly recovered to make an acrobatic save over the bar.

Whinnett hustled for possession deep inside her own half prior to finding Blanchflower down the middle, the latter slipped a pass through to Baptiste whose strike zipped inches of the far-post. Blanchflower again broke away before playing the overlapping Riana Soobadoo down the right, though as she looked for the return, her cross flew across the face of goal.

Wayne was tested again after another dangerous counter was finished off with Gibbons striking with clout looking for the far corner, but was left frustrated by the full-stretched shot-stopper. April Bowers drove forward through the middle dinking a pass over the top to Charlotte Gurr, her lay-off to Gibbons allowed for a low strike inside the area that Wayne saved comfortably.

Into the second half and Blanchflower pounced onto Lucia Leon’s pass down the right channel prior to bursting into the area but placing wide of the near-post. Schillaci’s in-swinging free-kick evaded both Baptiste and Hector by inches looking for respective headers at the back-post.

Below: Spectacular action from Nikita Whinnett

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Baptiste played Whinnett away who cut a pass inside to the overlapping Wendy Martin, but after powering her way into a shooting position could only place wide. Gurr won possession and held up play waiting for Jade Keogh’s timely run and struck inches wide from 12-yards.

Maya Vio was brought into the fray 19 minutes from time, making an immediate impact just four minutes later. Martin and Whinnett hustled for possession, Vio latched onto the loose ball before shimmying her way past Ellie Manning and Vanisha Patel for a placed finish.

It was 2-0 just two minutes later. Leon played through to Baptiste who from just outside the area guided the ball home.

Baptiste then capped off a fine display with a menacing run and strike which was first denied by Startup, who could do nothing to stop the ball looping in at the second attempt three minutes from time.

Spurs Ladies: Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon, Jenna Schillaci (c), Renee Hector, Leah Rawle (Eartha Pond 81), Josie Green, Riana Soobadoo (Maya Vio 71), Sophie Mclean, Bianca Baptiste, Kelley Blanchflower (Wendy Martin 54), Nikita Whinnett. Substitutes (not used): Megen Lynch.