Spurs Ladies on target after 14 seconds on their way to third semi-final
13 December 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
There's never a dull moment with Spurs Ladies.
If it's not remaining unbeaten (the team is now up to 17 wins and a draw in 18 matches) or the amount of goals scored (they've notched up 9-1, 10-0, 12-0 and 14-1 wins), then it's fastest goals, and Nikita Whinnett's strike after 14 seconds in Sunday's FA Women's Premier League Cup quarter-final win against Crystal Palace must be right up there in the fastest goals in the club's history.
That set-up a 4-1 victory and takes Spurs into the semi-finals in the defence of the FAWPL Cup, the 'National Cup' held between the Northern and Southern Division of the FA Women's Premier League.
Spurs, Blackburn, Charlton and Cardiff have progressed to the last four.
A reminder, Spurs are alive in FIVE competitions - they top the FAWPL South and have reached the semi-finals of the FAWPL Cup, the Capital Cup and the Boux Avenue Cup. They are also in the second round proper of the Women's FA Cup and will play Gillingham in January.
SPURS LADIES 4-1 CRYSTAL PALACE
FA Women's Premier League Cup, quarter-final
Report from Khalid Karimullah at Cheshunt FC, Theobalds Lane
Photographs with thanks to Wu's Photography
Spurs Ladies’ route to the semi-finals of the National FA Women’s Premier League Cup began in thunderous fashion after the Lilywhites opened the scoring against Crystal Palace in just 14 seconds.
Wendy Martin and Nikita Whinnett pressured Palace’s centre-halves Khaela Birch-Waldron and Sarah Jones into giving the ball away, Whinnett pounced and slotted across Chanelle Yardley from inside the area.
Bianca Baptiste burst down the right and her low driven cross across the six-yard box looking for Whinnett was just sliced away at the last second by Kirsty Bavington. Baptiste and Lucia Leon combined down the right channel for the latter to find Martin, whose deft touch gave Whinnett a chance to bury her strike into the bottom corner for 2-0 on seven minutes.
Below: Spurs Ladies line-up against Palace - back row, from left - Eartha Pond, Lucia Leon, Renee Hector, Jenna Schillaci, Wendy Martin, Megen Lynch. Front, from left - Sophie Mclean, Nikita Whinnett, Bianca Baptiste, Josie Green, Riana Soobadoo
Baptiste again broke away down the right making her way inside past Pamela McRoberts, but found the side-netting with her drilled strike. Martin controlled Eartha Pond’s throw-in before laying the ball off to Whinnett, whose swerving effort went wide of the left-hand post. Riana Soobadoo’s outside-of-the-boot threaded pass almost played Martin through on goal only to be snuffed out by Birch-Waldron.
Mary Robinson found herself through on goal for the visitors, however, Renee Hector covered superbly to guide the ball away. Pond pressured Tia Foreman into giving away possession, ultimately firing wide from 20 yards. A third almost arrived after Baptiste paced away crossing for Martin who came within inches sliding in at the near-post.
Baptiste dinked an eye-catching pass through to Martin whose one-on-one placed attempt was saved down low by Yardley. The goalkeeper was called into action again, diving to her left to keep out Sophie Mclean’s close-range piledriver following the midfielder’s lung-bursting run from deep.
It was 3-0 four minutes before the break. Whinnett drove to the byline out on the left flank finding Martin who prodded her header home from close range.
Following the restart, Josie Green’s looped pass found the overlapping Leon who played Baptiste away, only for her cross to narrowly evade the outstretched Martin. Roschelle Shakes pulled a goal back after 53 minutes, latching onto a ball over the top and lobbing Megen Lynch from inside the area. In a carbon-copy move, Green, Leon and Baptiste combined, but the energetic playmaker struck inches wide.
Below: Nikita Whinnett celebrates her 14-second strike
Ellie Bailes shimmied her way into the box and looked poised to score, until Lynch got down well at the near-post. With 22 minutes remaining, it was 4-1. Whinnett’s perfectly-weighted pass was met by Baptiste who burst into the area and placed low past Yardley.
Pond’s deep free-kick to the far post was headed by Hector towards the top corner though Yardley somehow held on. Lynch was called into action in the final seconds, rushing out to deny Alma Donohoe’s strike at the near post.
Spurs Ladies: Megen Lynch, Lucia Leon, Renee Hector, Jenna Schillaci. Eartha Pond, Josie Green (Maya Vio 71), Sophie Mclean, Riana Soobadoo (Cheryl Williams 76), Wendy Martin, Nikita Whinnett, Bianca Baptiste (Kelley Blanchflower 78). Unused Sub: Toni-Anne Wayne.