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Spurs Ladies straight back to winning ways

28 March 2017|Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs Ladies responded to last week's FA Cup loss at Arsenal in perfect style on Sunday.

They showed the spirit that has seen them defeated just once all season by coming from 1-0 down to beat Crystal Palace in the FA Women's Premier League South at Cheshunt FC.

Bianca Baptiste and Wendy Martin struck the goals to maintain Spurs' position at the top of the table, still proudly unbeaten after 13 league games.

Main rivals Cardiff City also won but there was further good news as fellow title rivals Coventry United and Charlton dropped points with a draw against each other. Spurs are three points ahead of Cardiff with a game in hand.

"It was a great response and another step forward," said delighted manager Karen Hills.

New signing Danielle Carlton, a WSL player formerly at Millwall and Yeovil, made her debut in the win against Palace.

It's another huge week for Karen's team - they face title rivals Coventry at home on Sunday followed by the Boux Avenue (Ryman) Cup Final against Charlton at Cheshunt FC on Wednesday (April 5).

FA women's Premier League South

Report from Khalid Karimullah at Cheshunt FC, Theobalds Lane
Photographs with thanks to Wu's Photography

If there was any example of how to dig deep through adversity, Karen Hills’ Lilywhites demonstrated in exhilarating fashion, coming from behind to get the better of Crystal Palace in a 2-1 performance for the three points.

The Eagles started on the front foot with Gemma Bryan breaking through, only to place her lob wide of Megen Lynch’s right-hand post. Dan Carlton, making her Spurs debut, connected on the volley from the inside left, placing inches wide with Chanelle Yardley struggling to get across.

The opening goal arrived with nine minutes on the clock, Bryan broke to the inside right firing low and finding the opposite corner.

Tottenham almost found an immediate response. Nikita Whinnett pressured Freya Holdaway who played back to Yardley off guard, it was Wendy Martin who instead connected looking for a guided finish, only for the stopper to deflect the ball wide with her legs.

Ciara Sherwood fired towards the top right with a dipper from a tight angle, which Lynch did well to hold. Bianca Baptiste latched onto possession deep setting-up Sophie Mclean, who sent a piledriver towards goal, aiming straight at Yardley.

Below: Nikita Whinnett in action against Palace


Jenna Schillaci’s deep free-kick to the far post connected with Renee Hector who looped a header over. Whinnett paced away down the right fizzing across to Baptiste, whose skilful back-heel found Maya Vio, who just couldn’t steer the ball goalwards.

Hector’s pinpoint pass saw Whinnett break away, turn and fire, only for the strike to bobble towards Yardley. Baptiste cut inside off the left targeting the top corner, ultimately firing wide from 25-yards.

With the break imminent, Mclean picked out Baptiste with a splitting pass and Baptiste slid home with precision to draw level.

It was almost a carbon-copy start to the second half with Bryan crashing her dipper off the post from an angle. Baptiste drove to the byline picking out Martin racing into the area, who on the stretch just couldn’t direct on target.

Bryan played across to Pamela McRoberts whose first-time strike from a central position found a stern Schillaci making the block.

Carlton played her free-kick to the near post for Schillaci to get ahead of Yardley, but place wide. Lynch rolled out to Hector who picked out Lucia Leon, her one-two with Baptiste gave Whinnett an opening, only for the menacing forward to curl wide with the best move of the match.

With 12 minutes remaining, Spurs’ need of inspiration was delivered. Schillaci’s floated free-kick dipped towards Martin who splendidly looped her header into the far corner out of reach away from Yardley.

Bryan gave Leanne Bell a chance to pick her spot, before Leon recovered to snatch possession and clear. Marauding midfielder, Josie Green, working tirelessly across the back line, broke a counter and freed Baptiste away and her one-on-one was smothered down low.

Spurs Ladies: 13. Megen Lynch, 2. Lucia Leon, 15. Jenna Schillaci, 19. Renee Hector, 7. Dan Carlton, 35. Josie Green, 5. Sophie Mclean, 16. Maya Vio (12. Riana Soobadoo 65’’), 9. Nikita Whinnett (20. Kelley Blanchflower 71’’), 10. Wendy Martin, 8. Bianca Baptiste. Substitutes (not used): 1. Toni-Anne Wayne, 23. Anoria Georgiou.