Playing their first domestic game for three weeks, Karen Hills’ side fell behind to Adekite Fatuga-Dada’s effort nine minutes into the second period at Kings Langley FC after Rinsola Babajide had missed a first-half penalty for the hosts.
But Spurs responded when Lucia Leon’s effort took a touch off Fatuga-Dada on the way in and had a couple of chances to win it – most notably when Watford defender Kylie McCarthy got back to see Wiltshire’s effort onto the post after the striker went through one-on-one with the goalkeeper in the dying seconds.
Spurs Ladies came from behind against Watford in a frantic end-to-end contest at Kings Langley, but were left scratching their heads as to how the three points fell from their grasp.
Spurs crafted out the first danger after five minutes. Ashleigh Neville floated a splitting pass to send Lauren Pickett away, which forced Fran Kitching to rush out and gather. Wiltshire broke down the left, crossing towards Wendy Martin, who placed past Kitching but found the post two minutes later.
The Hornets’ Babajide won a penalty when she went down under the challenge of Leon, but after stepping up to send Toni-Anne Wayne the wrong way, she saw her effort hit the post with 17 minutes played.
Wiltshire then linked up with Pickett, who turned on the edge of the box and played back to the forward, but she placed wide on 21 minutes.
Above: Renee Hector goes up for an aerial challenge.
Watford’s Danielle Puddefoot struck the upright from some 30 yards out on 39 minutes while at the other end, Neville’s inch-perfect pass sent Wiltshire through on the inside left, but she struck off target five minutes before the break.
Both sides tested the waters in a nine minute spell after the restart – but it was the hosts who took the lead on 54 minutes. Fatuga-Dada connected with a fierce volley from inside the area, meeting Bianca Bragg’s left wing cross.
The Lilywhites responded on 61 minutes through Leon, who arrived on the end of Jenna Schillaci’s inside right free-kick, with her back-flick taking a touch off Fatuga-Dada on the way in.
Leon headed Wiltshire’s corner wide of the right post six minutes later while Wiltshire shimmied past two challenges and struck a dipper which bounced into Kitching’s path on 72 minutes. Martin then set up Wiltshire drifting inside, whose strike from distance was tipped over with 75 on the clock.
Watford’s Merrick Will gathered possession deep in the final-third for a one-on-one, but she struck wide from distance seven minutes later. Bianca Baptiste burst down the right looking for Wiltshire breaking into the area, but she was unable to connect on 87 minutes. At the other end, Helen Ward struck at the near-post which Wayne reacted to, making the stop.
Wiltshire’s curler evaded the upright and Baptiste bursting in at the back-post, but Hills’ side could have won it in stoppage time when Martin’s deft touch sent Wiltshire through for a one-on-one, but McCarthy recovered to see the ball hit the post.
Watford Ladies: Fran Kitching, Charlotte Kerr, Danielle Puddefoot, Sarah Jones, Anneka Nuttall, Rinsola Babajide, Kylie McCarthy, Bianca Bragg (Lilli Maple 80), Natalie Murray (Leah Cudone 83), Merrick Will, Adekite Fatuga-Dada (Helen Ward 83). Substitutes (not used): Weronika Baranowska, Meghan McKeag, Victoria Neal, Simona Petkova.
Spurs Ladies: Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon (Hannah MacKenzie 78), Renee Hector, Jenna Schillaci, Ashleigh Neville, Maya Vio (Coral-Jade Haines 80), Josie Green, Sophie McLean, Lauren Pickett (Bianca Baptiste 59), Sarah Wiltshire, Wendy Martin. Substitutes (not used): Chloe Morgan, Katie O’Leary.
There’s another big test for Spurs Ladies in midweek as they travel to face Yeovil Town in the WSL Continental Tyres Cup on Wednesday, kick-off 7.45pm. Spurs scalped Bristol City Women in the last round in mid-October, their 2-0 win representing their first ever win against a WSL1 team.