Ladies into quarter-finals of FA Women's PL Cup
07 November 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs Ladies have moved into the quarter-finals as they defend the FA Women's Premier League Cup.
The FAWPL Cup is also known as the 'national cup' as it combines the FAWPL North and South and Spurs completed the biggest achievement of their history by lifting the trophy last season.
They maintained their unbeaten record in all competitions this time around with a 4-2 win against a battling Gillingham side at Cheshunt FC on Sunday.
Lucia Leon, an own goal and Maya Vio put Spurs in command 3-0 up at half-time although Gillingham cut the deficit to 3-2 before Wendy Martin put the issue beyond doubt with the fourth.
Spurs will now take on Crystal Palace in the last eight.
SPURS LADIES 4-2 GILLINGHAM
FA Women's Premier League Cup
Report from Khalid Karimullah, at Theobalds Lane, Cheshunt FC
Photos with thanks to Wu's Photography
Spurs Ladies ensured progression through to the quarter-finals of the FA Women’s Premier League Cup in a hard fought contest with Gillingham Ladies. It was a game of two halves for Karen Hills’ Lilywhites, who had to battle through adversity to keep their unbeaten record intact.
Lucia Leon made a lung-bursting run cutting inside almost prodding the ball through to Wendy Martin which forced a hurried clearance from Rachel Ahern. From the resulting corner, Jenna Schillaci’s delivery to the far-post was powered in by Leon who rose well after eight minutes.
Just two minutes later, Tottenham doubled their lead. Riana Soobadoo’s deep cross was met by Gillingham’s Jay Blackie who inadvertently lobbed the ball over Katie Startup.
Leon played Nikita Whinnett away down the right channel who found Martin, but her lay-off saw Soobadoo strike wide. Amy Taylor broke away on a counter with pace at the other end crossing low for Kallie Balfour pulling away at the back-post, but Leon offered superb cover coming across to clear. Leon drove forward popping the ball off to Maya Vio whose poke at goal was headed away by Ahern.
Spurs suffered a blow with Shannon Moloney forced off with an injury, and that rallied the team to look for a third. Leah Rawle came into the frame, making an immediate impact with her first touch. The athletic left-back flicked on Josie Green’s near-post corner towards Martin, whose header powered back off the crossbar.
It was soon three, seven minutes from the break. Martin pressured Startup whose loose kick fell kindly to Vio to guide her attempt back towards goal from inside the area.
Taylor fired wide from 20 yards, before Soobadoo’s zipped strike forced a diving save from Startup with Whinnett hitting the post following-up.
Below: Josie Green and Jenna Schillaci get stuck in
Taylor tested Megen Lynch from afar early into the second-half - the goalkeeper off the bench at the break for Toni-Anne Wayne - before Blackie was caught up in a tussle inside the area earning a penalty. Fliss Gibbons stepped up placing the ball into the far corner just after the hour.
Renee Hector hurried over to clear Gibbons’ low cross across the penalty area as pressure began to amount. Martin and Soobadoo combined to create an opening for Sophie Mclean, whose chested control and finish was ruled out for offside.
A nervy ending was provided after Lynch did superbly to stop Gibbons from close range, but could do nothing to keep out Taylor sweeping up the rebound three minutes from time. In the dying minutes, Leon powered down the right crossing for Cheryl Williams to collect, her shot was tipped into the path of Martin who side-footed home.
Spurs Ladies: Toni-Anne Wayne (Megen Lynch 45), Lucia Leon, Renee Hector, Jenna Schillaci (c), Shannon Moloney (Leah Rawle 32), Sophie Mclean, Maya Vio, Josie Green, Riana Soobadoo, Wendy Martin, Nikita Whinnett (Cheryl Williams 74). Substitutes (unused): Kelley Blanchflower.