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Spurs Ladies take first WSL 1 scalp

Posted on 13 October 2017  - 10:10

Another day, another milestone for Spurs Ladies.

Bianca Baptiste finishes for 2-0Sophie MacleanSarah WiltshireLauren Pickett opens the scoringJenna Schillaci congratulates Lauren PickettHannah MacKenzieChloe MorganHannah MacKenzieJenna SchillaciJosie GreenCoral-Jade HainesThe players celebrate after the 2-0 win

Thursday night's 2-0 win against Bristol City in the first group match of the Women's Super League Continental Tyres Cup represented their first against WSL 1 opposition.

Even better, it was achieved with a different approach and system, a disciplined 4-3-1-2 to counter Bristol City's threats - a team packed with internationals who pushed Arsenal all the way in a 1-1 draw in WSL 1 on Sunday.

Lauren Pickett and Bianca Baptiste scored the goals to secure this notable success with the team further boosted by a first start in almost a year for striker Katie O'Leary, back from a serious knee injury.

"We made six changes, set out a more compact system and executed the game plan," said manager Karen Hills.

"We went with 4-3-1-2 system, stayed solid and both Hannah MacKenzie and Maya Vio were outstanding. Bristol are a dangerous team but we didn't allow them any space and we were a threat on the break with the pace of Bianca and Lauren.

"It was so positive as it's not really a system or style we've looked to play over the last couple of seasons. It was also great to see Katie O'Leary back after injury."

Below: Spurs Ladies line-up against Bristol City - back row, from left - Renee Hector, Ashleigh Neville, Katie O'Leary, Hannah MacKenzie, Chloe Morgan, Lauren Pickett. Front, from left - Josie Green, Sophie Maclean, Jenna Schillaci, Bianca Baptiste, Maya Vio (photo: Wu's Photography)

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Action summary

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies won their first match in the group stage of Continental Tyres Cup following a confident performance against FAWSL 1 Bristol City at Cheshunt FC - and recorded their third win on the spin.

The Lilywhites created the first opening on seven minutes. Katie O’Leary drifted inside poking through to Bianca Baptiste, who burst to the inside right seeing her shot across saved low by Aimee Watson. Jenna Schillaci’s right-sided cross was headed out to Josie Green, who pounced onto possession striking wide five minutes later.

With 23 on the clock, Bristol found momentum. Charlie Estcourt broke inside off the right testing Chloe Morgan, who palmed away on the stretch before Sophie Mclean cleared. Renee Hector’s last-ditch challenge inside the area ensured Julie Biesmans' shimmy towards goal was stopped in its tracks four minutes later.

Baptiste's near-post strike was gathered by Watson and the same player created an opening for Lauren Pickett pacing through the middle, but her low effort was denied.

Spurs took the lead on 41 minutes after Baptiste’s left-sided cross was inadvertently sent towards goal by centre-back Lorca van de Putte, Watson could only palm out to Pickett to guide home.

Five minutes into the second-half Biesmans dipper was patted down by Morgan and Lily Woodham’s deep cross into the six-yard box was headed away by Ashleigh Neville with danger looming.

Below: Bianca Baptiste jumps for joy after making it 2-0 (photo: Wu's Photography)

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It was double-trouble for the visitors on 66 minutes. O’Leary’s outside-of-the-boot pass sent Baptiste away for a one-on-one and she slotted calmly past Watson.

Lauren Hemp’s corner saw Millie Turner’s header towards the bottom corner palmed away by Morgan on 77 minutes. Hemp was then denied by Hannah MacKenzie and Turner's lob went over at the back-post on 84 minutes.

Coral-Jade Haines had the final effort of note in stoppage time from Baptiste's pass, he shot palmed away by Watson.

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

Teams

Spurs Ladies: Chloe Morgan, Sophie McLean, Jenna Schillaci, Renee Hector, Ashleigh Neville, Hannah MacKenzie, Maya Vio, Josie Green (Wendy Martin 71), Katie O’Leary (Coral-Jade Haines 85), Lauren Pickett (Sarah Wiltshire 59), Bianca Baptiste. Substitutes (not used): Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon.

Bristol City: Aimee Watson, Eloise Wilson, Danique Kerkdijk, Lorca van de Putte, Flo Allen (Carla Humphrey 74), Millie Turner, Poppy Wilson (Aimee Palmer 21), Lily Woodham (Lauren Hemp 64), Julie Biesmans, Charlie Estcourt, Olivia Fergusson. Substitutes (not used): Caitlin Leach, Frankie Brown, Chloe Arthur, Yana Daniels.

Next up

Spurs Ladies have a couple of clear weekends and will look to arrange a friendly on October 21/22 before returning to WSL 2 action in WSL 2 at Watford on Sunday 29 October.