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Spurs Ladies retain the Boux Avenue Cup

Posted on 6 April 2017  - 11:00

One down, three to go – Spurs Ladies lifted their first trophy of a fantastic campaign with a convincing 3-1 victory over Charlton to retain the Boux Avenue (Ryman) Cup on Wednesday night.

Jenna Schillaci lifts the trophy - all photos - Wu's PhotographyRenee HectorBianca Baptiste finishes off her fine goalWendy Martin and Kelley Blanchflower celebrate Wendy's goal for 2-1Kelley Blanchflower plants the ball home for 3-1Kelley Blanchflower celebrates her goal with Wendy MartinSafe hands from Megen LynchEartha PondBianca BaptisteJenna Schillaci

Bianca Baptiste, Wendy Martin and Kelley Blanchflower were on target as all the goals came in the first half at Cheshunt FC.

Spurs have lost just once in 31 matches - against WSL high-fliers Arsenal in the FA Cup - and have two more cup finals to follow, both against Charlton - the FA Women’s Premier League Cup and Capital Cup.

On top of that, Spurs currently top the FAWPL South and are six and eight points ahead of Cardiff and Coventry United respectively, who have both played the same 14 matches. Charlton are also in there in second but have played three games more.

It says a lot about the team’s mentality now that focus turned immediately to Sunday’s FAWPL clash at Portsmouth. “All the players were talking about in the dressing room after the cup final was Sunday,” said manager Karen Hills. “Of course they were all delighted to win but they want to move on to the next challenge.”

Below: Spurs celebrate the second goal

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BOUX AVENUE CUP FINAL
Spurs Ladies 3-1 Charlton

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

Bianca Baptiste’s thrilling wonder goal set the Lilywhites on their way to retaining the Boux Avenue Women’s Cup against Charlton Athletic, for the first of a potential glory season for Karen Hills’ team. Wendy Martin and Kelley Blanchflower joined her on the scoresheet with goals of the highest order of their own in a 3-1 triumph.

Baptiste set the tempo early, fizzing a strike across the face of goal which flew inches past the post. Gemma Shepherd latched onto Kit Graham’s lay-off, before crashing a curler against the crossbar with Megen Lynch in cover. Graham struck from distance off a bobble, which Lynch did well to hold.

The breakthrough arrived within 17 minutes. Baptiste picked up possession deep in her half, rushed through challenges down the middle to the inside right, prior to sweetly striking across into the top corner.

Just two minutes later, jubilation turned into frustration. Former Spur, Avilla Bergin was picked out by Katie Bottom and broke through, placing over the line on the stretch.

Martin set up Josie Green for a 25-yard dipper which caused Kelly Cooper to sweep up at the second attempt. With 32 on the clock, a scintillating move started by Sophie Mclean helped restore the lead. The diminutive midfielder sprayed out to Baptiste who shimmied down the left, before delivering an inch-perfect cross to Martin to head home with menace from close range.

It became a case of double-trouble for the Addicks within two minutes. Renee Hector’s pinpoint pass picked out Martin whose flick-on was pounced on by Blanchflower, who took with precision, majestically lobbing Cooper.

Charley Clifford played a cutting pass through to Shepherd, who looked to get her shot away, only for Lucia Leon to recover athletically and clear. Lynch read the danger as Graham looked clean through, rushing out to hook clear a one-on-one.

Leon broke up the channel firing across goal from the inside right, forcing Cooper to tip over the bar.

Following the restart, Graham’s dipper went wide of the right-hand post from distance. A counter with pace saw Nikita Whinnett hustle for possession popping off to Martin, her recycle with Sophie Mclean played Leon away, whose dangerous cross looking for Martin was stifled out.

Hector drove forward from the back giving to Mclean, whose snap pass on the turn gave Leon an opportunity at goal, but her swerving strike was saved down low by Cooper.

Whinnett’s pressing gave Soobadoo a chance to guide Baptiste in behind, breaking from left to right, ultimately seeing her palm-stinging strike well kept out on the stretch. Dan Carlton hooked towards Soobadoo whose header picked out Martin from close, forcing Rosey Sullivan into a potential goal-saving clearance.

Whinnett poked through to Baptiste on the inside left, who cut in only for Cooper to deny her down low. It was no less than what Tottenham deserved after showing a will-to-win mentality throughout the 90 minutes.

Spurs Ladies: Megen Lynch, Lucia Leon, Jenna Schillaci, Renee Hector, Eartha Pond (Maya Vio 78), Josie Green (Dan Carlton 56), Sophie Mclean, Riana Soobadoo, Kelley Blanchflower (Nikita Whinnett 46), Wendy Martin, Bianca Baptiste. Substitutes (not used): Toni-Anne Wayne, Leah Rawle.