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Hat-trick of cup finals for Spurs Ladies

Posted on 7 March 2017  - 11:00

Spurs Ladies made it a hat-trick of cup finals for the second-successive season with one of their best performances of an incredible campaign against Cardiff City on Sunday.

Wendy Martin, Leah Rawle and Nikita Whinnett celebrate at 2-0Manager Karen HillsRiana SoobadooWendy Martin slots home for 1-0Sophie Mclean, Wendy Martin, Riana Soobadoo and Nikita Whinnett celebrate the openerSophie McleanWendy MartinJosie GreenNikita Whinnett makes it 3-0

One of four teams in the title shake-up in the FA Women's Premier League (FAWPL) South, Cardiff, beaten just once this season, were put to the sword 3-0 in the League Cup semi-final thanks to goals from Wendy Martin, Leah Rawle and Nikita Whinnett at Cheshunt FC.

Spurs have now reached the finals of the League Cup, Capital Cup and Boux Avenue (Ryman) Cup - and they will play old rivals Charlton Athletic in each! They remain unbeaten in 26 matches in all competitions and will defend the League Cup and Boux Avenue Cup won last season.

The huge games keep coming as well with a trip to Charlton in the FAWPL this Sunday. Charlton are another of the four teams in the title hunt and currenty top the table by a point from Cardiff, Coventry and Spurs. However, Spurs have three games in hand.

SPURS 3-0 CARDIFF CITY
FA Women's Premier League Cup, semi-final

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

Spurs Ladies secured three cup finals for the second-successive season after a scintillating 3-0 performance saw them comfortably past fellow high-flyers, Cardiff City, in Sunday’s FA Women’s Premier League Cup semi-final.

Karen Hills’ outfit started on the front foot. Bianca Baptiste broke away deep in the final third and her cross across the face of goal evaded Nikita Whinnett by inches waiting to pounce.

Below: Spurs line-up against Cardiff - back row, from left - Josie Green, Renee Hector, Toni-Anne Wayne, Wendy Martin, Lucia Leon, Leah Rawle. Front, from left - Riana Soobadoo, Bianca Baptiste, Jenna Schillaci, Sophie Mclean, Nikita Whinnett.

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Leah Rawle recycled possession with Wendy Martin and Riana Soobadoo, who fed the ball back into Rawle’s path overlapping inside the area, but she was matched by Abbie Britton who cleared the danger.

Baptiste rolled across to Sophie Mclean, who set the ball firing her dipper over from 25-yards. Chloe Chivers looked for a response drifting out to the right, letting fly narrowly missing the upright.

Lucia Leon slid Baptiste down the right channel, her cross aimed at Martin was just taken out of its direction by Ellis Hillman’s last-ditch hook. Leon found Josie Green who guided towards Soobadoo, prior to the midfielder bursting forward, firing over from the edge of the area.

Martin latched onto Green’s splitting pass looking to manoeuvre past Maisie Jerrim for a one-on-one, who did well to steer the opportunity away. Renee Hector pinpointed Martin through the middle, who saw her strike tipped round the post by Zoe Atkins.

The Lilywhites found the breakthrough on 31 minutes. Patient build up saw Soobadoo, Martin and Leon exchange, the latter passed back to the former who squared to Martin to place home. Hope Suominen bombarded up the right looking for the inside of the near-post, which found Toni-Anne Wayne in inspired form to palm away from Kerry Bartlett in wait.

Green picked out Whinnett with a lovely weighted-pass, her volley was held by Atkins. Soobadoo struck wide of the left-hand post after bursting through the middle. Soobadoo then played Baptiste away and her driven cross saw Whinnett prod an attempt off the near post.

Below: Bianca Baptiste in action

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Eight minutes into the restart, it was 2-0. Martin fired for Atkins to palm Leah Rawle’s way and she slid in to tap home on the first time of asking. Whinnett drifted to the near post and a chested control and acrobatic volley evaded the underside of the crossbar by a whisker.

Green struck with clout just wide of the right-hand post after drifting into the final third. Britton stopped Martin and Mclean’s counter before playing Ffion Morgan away, but Rawle, who started 20 yards in front, recovered superbly to deny the danger going the other way.

Hillman’s 25-yard dipper went over before Spurs made it 3-0. Leon majestically turned by the right byline, crossing to Whinnett who had the task of rolling the ball over from two yards. Jenna Schillaci’s free-kick bobbled through to Hector who placed through the legs of Atkins, only for the goal to be disallowed and a free-kick given the other way.

Spurs Ladies: Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon, Jenna Schillaci (c), Renee Hector, Leah Rawle, Josie Green, Riana Soobadoo, Sophie Mclean, Bianca Baptiste (Kelley Blanchflower 75), Wendy Martin, Nikita Whinnett (Maya Vio 84). Substitutes (not used): Megen Lynch, Cheryl Williams.