Derby disappointment for battling Spurs Ladies
Wed 30 August 2017, 15:30|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs Ladies slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Arsenal Women’s Development side in a pre-season friendly as their preparations for the new campaign continued on Tuesday evening (August 29), writes Rosie Bonass.
The north London derby was played at Colney Heath Football Club where Jess N’Gunga had opened the scoring for the Gunners early on and she eventually went on to grab the winner after new summer signing Lauren Pickett had cancelled out her early goal to equalise for Spurs.
The friendly didn’t get off to the best of starts for Karen Hills’ side as they went 1-0 down in the opening minute after failing to clear a cross that was sent into the box by Anna Filbey from the right flank and it fell perfectly to N’Gunga who drilled the ball into the top right corner.
Despite the rocky start, Spurs began to dominate possession, playing some impressive football and pressuring the Arsenal defence and they deservedly scored an equaliser in the 31st minute.
It came after a long free-kick from Sarah Wiltshire found Pickett in the box, who slotted past Lucy Thomas with ease into the bottom left corner.
Spurs had several attempts after that with the best effort falling to Sophie Mclean who curled the ball from long range towards the top right corner but Thomas came to the rescue for Arsenal as she hooked the ball out for a corner.
The Gunners were fortunate to still be in the game at half-time and within minutes of the restart, Bianca Baptiste came off the bench and had the Arsenal defence run ragged. She should have converted on three separate occasions after combining wonderfully with Wiltshire and Wendy Martin but her efforts were all inches wide of the goal.
Shortly after, Ashleigh Neville played a superb over the top ball to Wiltshire who attempted to lob the Arsenal goalkeeper but her effort hit the crossbar.
However, after being on top for long periods of the game, Spurs allowed Arsenal to get back into the match and were punished for not being more clinical in front of goal early on as the Gunners netted what proved to be the winner in the 83rd minute.
The goal came once again from N’Gunga who managed to virtually create something out of nothing as she took advantage of a strained Spurs back line to slot the ball into an empty net.
Wiltshire was very unlucky not to score an equalising goal in injury time with a free-kick at the edge of the box but her attempt just went inches wide of the top right corner.