Ladies secure final-day win thanks to Filbey double
Durham Women 0-2 Spurs Ladies
Sun 12 May 2019, 14:29|Tottenham Hotspur
A brilliant brace from Anna Filbey gave newly-promoted Spurs Ladies a 2-0 victory against Durham on the final day of the FA Women’s Championship season on Saturday, writes Rosie Bonass.
Spurs, who began their journey in tier two at New Ferens Park last term, finished in style against Durham who, up until last week, had been in the race for promotion and their final-day defeat was just their third of the season.
The hosts were reduced to 10 players when Beth Hepple was shown a red card in the 18th minute for dissent and Filbey capitalised with her first two goals for the club.
Manager Karen Hills made seven changes to her side for the season finale, having already secured promotion to the Women’s Super League with a draw against Aston Villa last midweek. It was a special match for Wendy Martin, who finished her eighth season at Spurs wearing the captain’s armband in Jenna Schillaci’s absence.
Back in the starting line-up, Bianca Baptiste almost broke the deadlock after five minutes but her half-volley from the outside of the box went just wide of the far post. A minute later, the hosts, who began the day in third place, could have gone ahead but Zoe Ness’ powerful strike went inches over the bar.
Durham looked dangerous in attack but were dealt a blow in the first half as Hepple saw red, following her verbal reaction to the referee after he awarded a free-kick for a foul on Emma Beckett. But the hosts continued to press Spurs, who had Chloe Morgan to thank for keeping the scoreline level following a number of terrific saves. The goalkeeper did brilliantly to stop Sarah Roberts’ long-range shot, before she tipped Emily Robson’s close-range effort onto the crossbar. Morgan was called into action once again before the break as she reacted quickly to push Roberts’ header onto the post.
Substitute Coral-Jade Haines went close on two occasions in a matter of minutes. Firstly, she ran clear on goal after a quick counter-attack but saw her effort go just wide and moments later she had a header saved at the near post following a great cross from Jess Naz.
The Lilywhites found a breakthrough in the 69th minute as Filbey headed home a superb corner from Emma Beckett to open her account for the club. Naz then had the chance to wrap up the three points in the final 10 minutes as she raced clear on goal, but she poked her effort inches wide.
Having already bagged her first goal, Filbey got her second 23 minutes later to double Spurs’ advantage with another bullet header from Beckett’s corner-kick in stoppage time.
Head Coach Juan Amoros said at full-time: “It’s been a dream come true. We started our journey in tier two at Durham last season where we came here to play our first game thinking ‘let’s go into this new world and see how we do.’ We came away with a 2-1 defeat that day and then a year-and-a-half later we are leaving this division and won 2-0 this time – it makes me and all the staff immensely proud. At one point it looked like it would go down to the wire and in the end we were able to come here, win the game, get a clean sheet and put in a good performance. I think that’s very important for the girls to have proved to everyone that we definitely deserve to be where we are and be promoted.”
Attacker Bianca Baptiste added: “We always wanted to finish on a high and show why we deserve to be in the Women’s Super League so it was great to come to a good club like this and win. Every game matters to us, no matter what’s at stake, we’ll always give it our best, we’d never take our foot off the gas. Getting into the WSL is a massive achievement and has been done through the hard work of everyone at the club, the players, coaches and everyone behind the scenes. I thought Chloe (Morgan) was amazing today and she has been doing that all season. When we were talking in the changing room about if there was one player that you would pick out as being inspirational, virtually everyone picked her – she’s a quality keeper and wherever Durham put their chances she did incredibly well to stop them from scoring.”
Durham Women 0-2 Spurs Ladies
Durham: Hannah Reid; Ellie Christon, Sarah Wilson (Abi Cottam 90), Becky Salick (Abby Holmes 28), Kathryn Hill; Nicki Gears, Sarah Robson, Lisa Robertson; Emily Roberts, Beth Hepple, Zoe Ness (Jess Holder 84). Substitutes (not used): Megan Borthwick, Megan Elliott, Hannah Greenwood, Chloe Ryan.
Spurs Ladies: Chloe Morgan; Megan Wynne, Anne Meiwald, Anna Filbey, Lucia Leon; Wendy Martin, Emma Beckett, Jessica Naz; Bianca Baptiste (Ryah Vyse 81), Rianna Dean, Angela Addison (Coral-Jade Haines 41). Substitutes (not used): Emma Gibbon, Ashleigh Neville, Sarah Wiltshire, Josie Green, Sophie Mclean.
Goals: Spurs – Filbey 69, 90+2.
Red card: Durham – Hepple 18.
Referee: Jon Matthews.
Venue: New Ferens Park, Durham.