Spurs take on Arsenal in the fifth round of the Women's FA Cup on Sunday. One of the biggest teams in the world, Women's Super League 1 side Arsenal are FA Cup holders and 14-times winners of the competition.
However, Spurs stretched their unbeaten record to 27 in this incredible 2016-17 campaign on Sunday by beating FA Women's Premier League South title rivals Charlton 1-0 at Sporting Club Thamesmead. That took them back to the top of the table and a huge boost ahead of three cup finals against the same team in the near future.
Wendy Martin scored the only goal of the game as Spurs, the only unbeaten team in the FAWPL South, moved two points clear of Charlton, having played three games less.
Another of the challengers, Cardiff City, were beaten by C&K Basildon, so the top four now reads - Spurs played 12/34 points, Charlton 15/32, Cardiff 13/31, Coventry 12/31.
CHARLTON 0-1 SPURS LADIES
FA Women's Premier League South
Report from Khalid Karimullah at Charlton Athletic, Sporting Club Thamesmead
Photograph with thanks to Dave Crook
Spurs Ladies’ unbeaten run, which now stretches to 27 matches in all competitions, continued after a know-how 1-0 away performance at rivals, Charlton Athletic, as all attention turned back to the FA Women’s Premier League.
Charley Clifford hustled for possession deep in the final third, laying off to Kim Dixson, who fired over from 20 yards as the hosts looked to take the game to Karen Hills’ outfit.
Spurs soon wrestled back the momentum. Jenna Schillaci played over the top to Nikita Whinnett - returning to her old stomping ground - she laid off to Leah Rawle whose cross was set by Wendy Martin, but her strike was blocked by Katie Flack.
Lucia Leon picked up possession in her own half and a mesmerising run and strike on the inside right channel crashed off the crossbar. A pinpoint pass from Renee Hector played Whinnett away and she looked for Martin, forcing Ruby Southgate to manoeuvre the danger clear.
Leon’s bombarding run and cross fizzed across the face of goal, Riana Soobadoo collected laying off Whinnett, whose curler was blocked by Dixson. Hector’s accuracy continued to prove a threat, her pinpoint pass picked out Sophie Mclean whose one-two with Martin saw Bianca Baptiste played through, but her near-post cross was guided wide by Whinnett charging in with menace.
Spurs took the lead after 32 minutes. A scintillating counter saw Whinnett break to the inside right channel, her cross found Baptiste for a first-time shot which was palmed out to Martin, who duly delivered on the rebound.
Former Lilywhite, Avilla Bergin, looked for a response breaking away but was matched by Josie Green, who tracked back superbly to stop the counter in its tracks, then forced the shot wayward.
Below: The team celebrate at Charlton
Flowing football saw Leon, Soobadoo and Martin combine, the latter played in Baptiste whose strike found the side netting.
Following the break, Southgate found Dixson who rolled to Kit Graham on the edge of the area, but she fired wide under pressure from Green. Bergin countered, Whinnett and Jenna Schillaci rushed to cover, before the latter blocked the strike.
Whinnett latched onto a delightful pass over the top by Hector, just placing her dipper over the top right. Green and Rawle recycled, the former broke in on goal crossing to Soobadoo whose lay-off saw Baptiste’s strike palmed away by Alex Baker.
Bergin controlled inside the area, attempted to get her shot away which was blocked by Hector and Schillaci. Dixson played deep to the far-post with Charlotte Lee charging in, which saw inspired defending from Rawle to leap and head the danger clear.
Baptiste latched onto possession by the half-way line, a one-two with Whinnett set her free, but both attempts at goal were smothered by Baker. Bergin picked out Rosey Sullivan, who fired against the underside of the crossbar from distance.
Whinnett sprayed a lovely outside-of-the-boot pass to set Kelley Blanchflower away, who shimmied into the area for a one-on-one, but her placed attempt saw Baker make the save.
Spurs Ladies: Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon, Jenna Schillaci, Renee Hector, Leah Rawle (Eartha Pond 86), Josie Green, Sophie Mclean, Riana Soobadoo (Maya Vio 74), Nikita Whinnett, Wendy Martin, Bianca Baptiste (Kelley Blanchflower 86). Substitutes (not used): Megen Lynch.