FA Women's Premier League South champions Spurs met FAWPL North champions Blackburn Rovers in the WPL play-off at The Valley, Charlton, on Sunday.
A double from Bianca Baptiste and wonderful strike from Wendy Martin wrapped up a 3-0 win and Spurs are now set to take their place in WSL 2 next season.
What a season!
- Unbeaten until FA Cup meeting against giants Arsenal in March
- Reached three cup finals for the second-successive season
- Won the Boux Avenue Cup
- Clinched the FAWPL title in front of over 2,000 fans at White Hart Lane
- Secured the double by claiming the League Cup
- Won the WSL play-off against Blackburn
Below: Celebration time at The Valley - photo - Wu's Photography
SPURS 3-0 BLACKBURN
FA Women's Premier League Play-Off Championship
Report from Khalid Karimullah at Charlton Athletic, The Valley
Photographs with thanks to Wu's Photography
Spurs Ladies grabbed the opportunity of a lifetime to seal promotion to the FA Women’s Super League 2 with a 3-0 national play-off final triumph over FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division Champions, Blackburn Rovers at The Valley.
Wendy Martin latched onto possession deep, prodded Bianca Baptiste through, but Danielle Hill was out quickly to smother. Renee Hector floated a deep pass to free Ronnell Humes down the right, whose looped byline cross searching for Martin was cut out by Hill.
Baptiste’s inside left free-kick was punched as far as Lucia Leon, who headed back towards the top corner, only for Hill to recover and hold. Leon broke forward slipping in Humes, who beat Kelsey Pearson in a footrace, but Hill was out low to punch clear.
Jenna Schillaci’s corner found Humes, whose initial strike was blocked, who then sent a dipping volley inches over onto the roof of the net. Saffron Jordan’s counter started a spell of pressure for Blackburn, with Maya Vio needed to track the near-full length of the pitch to steer the danger away.
Ella Toone drifted to the inside left, played in Jordan inside the six-yard box, who toe-poked inches wide across goal. Toone broke on a counter, faded to go out coming back inside, firing low and wide from 20-yards.
The all-important breakthrough arrived inside 36 minutes. Martin’s defence-splitting pass was latched onto by Baptiste making a diagonal run, who placed her shot back across goal and in off the post.
Schillaci floated a delightful pass to Baptiste running in behind, she played across to Martin at the near-post who skimmed her toe-poke inches across. Leon burst forward, recycled to Humes who played inside to Martin, she looked to slip in Baptiste only for the counter to be stopped in its traps.
The momentum was more of the same following the break. Sophie Mclean latched onto possession, burst towards the edge of the area firing with clout just evading the top left. Mclean slid in Humes, Pearson made the initial block, as the follow-up swerved through to Hill.
Mclean, controlled under pressure, looped a pass over the top to Humes who set for the strike, but Pearson recovered with a sliding tackle. Natasha Fenton latched onto possession, played across to Toone, who headed down and across to Jordan to crash her acrobatic attempt off the upright.
Josie Green shimmied forward, sent Humes away who broke to the inside left, she played into Baptiste who sprung along the outside of the box curling back across and into the far corner, with 67 minutes played.
Leon charged up the right flank, cut inside pinpointing Martin six-yards out, who looked to place home bar for Danielle Whitham’s last-ditch tackle. Leon broke past Whitham, fired towards the top left from an angle which Hill patted down.
Toni-Anne Wayne dropped a half-volleyed goal-kick towards Katie O’Leary who flicked on towards Martin, to spectacularly send a dipper over Hill from near to 25 yards for game, set, match and the season.
Spurs Ladies: 1. Toni-Anne Wayne, 2. Lucia Leon, 19. Renee Hector, 11. Jenna Schillaci, 3. Leah Rawle (12. Riana Soobadoo 88), 7. Josie Green, 16. Maya Vio (4. Shannon Moloney 90+ 2), 5. Sophie Mclean, 8. Bianca Baptiste, 10. Wendy Martin, 24. Ronnell Humes (14. Katie O’Leary 70). Subs (Not Used): 4. Shannon Moloney, 18. Eartha Pond.