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Ladies ready to bounce back for big final date

Posted on 2 May 2017  - 19:30

Spurs Ladies will pick themselves up this week as they bid for the 'double' in the FA Women's Premier League.

Sophie Mclean in action at Cardiff on Sunday - photo - Neil WildyCardiff welcomed Spurs with a champions' guard of honour - photo - Neil Wildy

The league trophy is in the bag but the ladies suffered a rare heavy defeat on Sunday, turned over 4-0 by Cardiff City, one of their challengers in the FAWPL South this season.

It means Spurs have lost three on the trot as they prepare for the League Cup Final against Charlton at Stevenage's Lamex Stadium this Sunday, 2pm.

CARDIFF CITY 4-0 SPURS LADIES
FA Women's Premier League

Report from Khalid Karimullah at Cardiff City, CCB Center for Sporting Excellence
Photographs with thanks to Neil Wildy

Spurs Ladies hopes of clawing back momentum off the back of successive defeats couldn’t come to fruition with a 4-0 defeat in Wales against Cardiff City - preparation which is far from ideal for Karen Hills’ title holders, ahead of next week’s FA Women’s Premier League Cup Final.

Chloe Lloyd took aim from 30 yards sending her free-kick towards the top right, forcing Megen Lynch into an early pat down. Emily Allen’s cross from the right flank met Hope Suominen, whose strike from inside the area was blocked by Renee Hector.

Bianca Baptiste burst past Ellis Hillman from the inside right, struck across goal which was caught by Laura O’Sullivan. Abbie Britton ran over the ball, leaving for Lloyd who looked to place her well-worked free-kick towards the near-post, which dipped inches wide.

Lloyd floated her free-kick towards Gemma Evans creeping in at the back-post, who came within inches of making a connection.

The Lilywhites fell a goal behind with 22 minutes played. Eartha Pond placed her free-kick inadvertently past Lynch, who had Hope Suominen closing her down.

Kerry Bartlett picked up possession, fired from 18-yards on the turn which evaded the bottom left. Pond’s free-kick came within a whisker of finding Wendy Martin, O’Sullivan punched back to Pond whose strike deflected into the arms of the ‘keeper.

Britton countered striking at an angle towards the bottom left, Lynch managed to steer clear only as far as Bartlett who fired over. It was double-trouble on 39 minutes. Cori Williams broke away to the inside right, striking from distance which looped in. Hannah Miles’ cross out wide bobbled through to Bartlett, who placed her bouncing header wide.

Spurs came out the traps flying following the break. Baptiste broke to the byline, looked for Maya Vio to prod home, only for O’Sullivan to pounce on the cross and deny an opening.

Below: Josie Green and Maya Vio battle for possession - photo - Neil Wildy

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Pond’s free-kick saw Hector’s header loop onto the roof of the net. Hector sent Baptiste away, Kelley Blanchflower flicked-on her cross towards the bottom left, which O’Sullivan stayed big to deny.

Hector drove out from the back, popped into Lucia Leon who played Baptiste through to crash her strike off the post. Williams curled her dipping free-kick past the wall which Lynch had to push clear.

Despite the shift in play, it was soon 3-0. Allen latched onto possession at the back-post striking with menace from close, with Lynch unable to keep out the power.

Leon sprayed Baptiste away down the left, who cut inside hitting the post from 20-yards. Cardiff found themselves down to 10 when Suominen was sent off for an untimely challenge on Hector in the middle.

Pond’s resulting free-kick saw Hector clatter with O’Sullivan, Nikita Whinnett placed home, but a foul was awarded the other way. Chloe Chivers broke to the inside left, placing inches wide under pressure from Lynch.

A carbon-copy opening just minutes later saw Chivers burst through on goal, create the gap and slide into an empty net.

Spurs Ladies: 13. Megen Lynch, 2. Lucia Leon, 19. Renee Hector, 18. Eartha Pond, 5. Sophie Mclean, 7. Josie Green (4. Kelly Smith 65), 16. Maya Vio, 10. Wendy Martin, 8. Bianca Baptiste, 20. Kelley Blanchflower (9. Nikita Whinnett 72), 14. Katie O’Leary (12. Riana Soobadoo 78).