Durham Women FC 2-1 Spurs Ladies
Battling performance from Ladies on WSL debut
25 September 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs Ladies’ valiant pressure at New Ferens Park wasn’t enough to salvage any of the spoils as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat in their first ever FA Women’s Super League 2 outing against Durham Women on Sunday, writes Khalid Karimullah.
Beth Hepple’s opener for the home side was cancelled out by Bianca Baptiste, before Nicki Gears restored Durham’s advantage during a flurry of goals just before half-time.
Wendy Martin subsequently saw her effort disallowed for off-side and Durham were able to maintain their lead for the rest of the game.
Following their promotion from the FA Women’s Premier League South last season, Karen Hills’ team started rapidly. Helen Alderson guided Baptiste’s corner inches away from Wendy Martin flying in at the far-post. Josie Green then lobbed towards Coral-Jade Haines, she sent Sarah Wiltshire away who fired wide of the right post.
Jenna Schillaci’s inside right free-kick came within a whisker of lobbing Alderson, who had no choice but to palm over. Lucia Leon then hooked towards Baptiste, whose header was latched onto by Wiltshire to send an inside left dipper into the palms of Alderson.
For Durham, Rachel Lee’s delivery dropped to Sarah Wilson, she popped off towards Jordan Atkinson to fire across goal and wide. Zoe Ness and Emily Roberts then combined to find Lee on the edge, who sent her volley over.
(Pictures with thanks to georgeledger.co.uk)
Baptiste broke down the left but her cross evaded Wiltshire charging in at the near-post, while Durham’s Atkinson cut inside off the left, firing straight at Toni-Anne Wayne. Green then latched onto possession deep in the final third, seeing her lob caught by Alderson.
Hepple glanced her header wide and Atkinson found Ness who hit off target from inside the area – before both sides went for broke. Hepple took up a central position and drilled home the opener from the edge of the area inside the right post on 44minutes. But Baptiste paced away, prior to cutting in off the left and placing across Alderson a minute later to level proceedings.
The frantic action continued deep in stoppage time before the break. Roberts picked out Gears, whose curler found its way inside the near post.
Later on, Haines’ free-kick was flicked-on by Ashleigh Neville towards Martin, who guided her header home but was flagged for off-side. Gears sent Roberts away for Durham, her ball across was caught by Wayne, ahead of Gears’ left flank cross to Ness which forced Wayne to guide her near-post flick past the post.
Baptiste’s shot with clout on the inside right deflected towards Alderson and Caroline Dixon glanced her header wide after meeting Hepple’s corner, moments before Abigail Cottam’s volley was headed off the line by a combination of Renee Hector and Schillaci as Spurs had to defend.
Sophie Mclean, Lauren Pickett and Hannah Mackenzie combined with the latter striking towards the top left from 30 yards, but her effort was palmed over. And Neville fired over Baptiste’s corner as the chance – and game – faded away.
Durham Women: Helen Alderson, Annabel Johnson, Sarah Wilson (c), Beth Hepple, Zoe Ness (Nicola Worthington 83), Nicki Gears (Lauren Briggs 74), Jordan Atkinson (Abigail Cottam 66), Emily Roberts, Caroline Dixon, Kathryn Hill, Rachel Lee. Substitutes (not used): Megan Borthwick, Ellie Christon.
Spurs Ladies: Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon (Hannah Mackenzie 76), Renee Hector, Jenna Schillaci (c), Ashleigh Neville, Josie Green, Sophie Mclean, Coral-Jade Haines (Lauren Pickett 66), Sarah Wiltshire, Bianca Baptiste, Wendy Martin (Ronnell Humes 66). Substitute (not used): Chloe Morgan.
Spurs Ladies face their first WSL2 home game of the season next Sunday (October 1) as Aston Villa Ladies arrive at Cheshunt, kick-off 2pm.