Rehanne Skinner's era begins with first league win of the season
Spurs Women 3-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Sun 06 December 2020, 16:30|Tottenham Hotspur
Rehanne Skinner’s tenure as Spurs Women Head Coach began with a 3-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday (6 December), which marked our first win in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League (WSL) this season as we welcomed our Season Ticket Holders back to The Hive.
Kerys Harrop opened the scoring with a superb free-kick, before Inessa Kaagman brought Brighton level from 12-yards. Angela Addison finished a brilliant solo move to restore our lead in the second half, before Alex Morgan scored her first goal for the Club from the penalty spot to wrap up the three points in front of our fans.
Rehanne made three changes to the side who were last in action against Arsenal in the Continental League Cup last month with Morgan, Harrop and Anna Filbey returning to the starting line-up.
Jess Naz came off the bench in the 85th minute to make her first appearance since August, 2019, following an ACL injury.
Rachel Williams and Kit Graham were also back in the matchday squad having recovered from their injuries.
We made a bright start and broke the deadlock after 11 minutes through Harrop’s excellent free-kick. After Morgan won the foul to the right of Brighton’s penalty area, Harrop, who was playing at left-back, stepped up and whipped the set-piece straight into the far top corner - her first goal for us since arriving in the summer.
After 22 minutes, Rosella Ayane broke away with the ball following a Brighton corner, bearing down on goal, before firing off a shot, which fell the wrong side of Brighton’s right-hand post.
Our attacking intent continued throughout the first half and two minutes later, Morgan latched onto Ria Percival’s corner with a rigorous header which flew just over the frame of the goal.
The visitors’ equaliser came after 33 minutes when Kaagman stepped up to convert from the penalty spot after a foul from Alanna Kennedy on Aileen Whelan. Becky Spencer dived the correct way but was unable to get a hand on Kaagman’s powerful strike.
Six minutes later, Kennedy was unfortunate to not score our second free-kick of the afternoon from long-range when her right-footed shot curled just over the crossbar.
Our first chance of the second half came after 57 minutes when Morgan hit the ball out wide to Ayane, who charged full-pelt down the right wing and sent a low cross into the box, which Morgan couldn’t fully connect with.
Addison restored our lead seven minutes later with a brilliant solo effort when she caught onto Morgan’s flicked header, before darting into Brighton’s box, battling off defender Victoria Williams, rounding Megan Walsh and striking low into the empty net.
Morgan wrapped up the three points with six minutes to play after Percival was brought down in the box, before the USA international slotted home the penalty kick into the bottom left corner.
Our first three points in the league this season sees us climb to ninth place in the WSL.
We're back in action next Sunday (13 December) when we host Aston Villa in the league at The Hive - kick-off is 2pm.
Following her first game in charge of Spurs Women, Head Coach Rehanne Skinner said: “I think for me the most important thing was that the players have been able to translate quite a lot of what we’ve been doing in training into the game. There are still parts that we’re going to want to keep tweaking and working on, but ultimately they had a really positive and strong belief in their own ability and they’ve gone out and done really well. It’s about being able to get behind people if a mistake is made and not making multiple errors in a row. Sometimes you make decisions and maybe it’s not the best idea at the time but it’s what you saw and that’s football. Ultimately, we have to rally around each other after those decisions and make sure that we then don’t make another mistake and look after each other as a collective. It was brilliant seeing the fans in the ground. Obviously, the players were really looking forward to it. I’ve had a bit of a worldie coming in this week for my first game and they’re back in the ground which is great. It just helps to lift the game and gets people back involved in women’s football again.”
On Jess Naz’s return from injury, Rehanne commented: “The whole team were buzzing when she came on the pitch. It’s been a long road for Jess but now she’s in a great place and it’s just about building up her time on the pitch now.”
Spurs Women 3-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Spurs: Spencer, Neville, Filbey, Zadorsky, Harrop, Green ©, Kennedy (Naz 85), Percival, Addison, Ayane (Quinn 59), Morgan (Williams 85).
Substitutes (Not Used): Whitehouse, Leon, Graham, Godfrey, Sulola.
Brighton: Walsh, Gibbons (Stott 77), Bowman, Kerkdijk, Le Tissier, Whelan (Lee 77), Kaagman, O’Sullivan, Green (Brazil 59), Williams, Jarrett.
Substitutes (Not Used): Fiskerstrand, Heroum, Barton, Simpkins.
Goals: Spurs – Harrop 11; Addison 64; Morgan 84 (pen) Brighton – Kaagman 33 (pen).
Yellow cards: Spurs – Kennedy 32; Percival 90+5. Brighton – Williams 8.
Venue: The Hive, London.
Referee: Emily Heaslip.
Weather: Bright, three degrees.