Spurs Women stage stunning fightback to draw with Everton
Spurs Women 2-2 Everton Women
Wed 12 February 2020, 22:02|Tottenham Hotspur
Goals from Angela Addison and Emma Mitchell helped Spurs Women produce a brilliant second-half comeback from 2-0 down at home to Everton to secure a well-deserved point in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Wednesday night.
Everton looked the stronger of the two sides in the first half and got their reward in the 31st minute when Chloe Kelly lashed the ball into the far corner from the edge of the box. Inessa Kaagman then doubled their advantage with a similar strike in the 57th minute.
We showed immense courage and desire to come back, though, despite being reduced to 10 players after Rosella Ayane was sent off at 2-1. Addison halved the deficit with a deft header in the 68th minute and then Mitchell completed the comeback with a stunning 30-yard free-kick to make it 2-2 just 12 minutes from the end.
Karen Hills and Juan Amoros made three changes to the side that lost at Manchester United in our last WSL outing with Becky Spencer returning in goal after injury in place of Chloe Morgan, while Chloe Peplow and Rosella Ayane came in for Addison and Lucy Quinn. Kit Graham missed out due to illness.
The visitors started the brighter of the two sides, Kelly often the orchestrator of Everton’s positive play. She couldn’t quite make the most of the rebound after Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah was denied by Spencer before later charging down the right-hand side in the 25th minute and swinging in a teasing cross, but Anna Filbey was there to hack it away for us.
We so nearly took the lead just past the half-hour mark, though. After excellent perseverance from Ria Percival in the middle of the park, she managed to send Rianna Dean through on goal but the 21-year-old’s effort struck the post and deflected away to safety. We were made to rue that missed opportunity just a minute later when Kelly struck a fine shot into the bottom corner and out of the reach of Spencer to give Everton the lead after a clever lay-off from Kaagman on the edge of the box.
The visitors then picked up from where they left off in the second half. After Spencer’s clearance was intercepted, Kaagman found space on the edge of the box and unleashed a powerful, low shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 to the Toffees shortly before the hour mark.
However, just as it began to look like Everton might have had the game sewn up, we sparked into life and pulled a goal back in the 68th minute. Addison, who had come on at half-time in an attempt to turn the tide of the match, was alive in the box to head a whipped Percival cross past Tinja-Riikka Korpela for her first ever WSL goal.
The odds of a comeback looked slimmer when, after a spell of confusion, Ayane was shown a red card in the 77th minute after appearing to lash out following a tackle just inside the final third. That didn’t discourage us, though, and in fact only motivated Mitchell to produce a moment of sheer magic to snatch us a point. The left-back let fly from the resulting free-kick, firing an outstanding shot into the top corner from 30 yards out to level the scores just 12 minutes from time – a deserved reward for the way we responded to going two goals down.
Everton applied pressure in the latter stages of the match against our 10 players, but we held firm and hung onto a well-deserved point following an excellent fightback that served to show the amount of desire and togetherness among the squad.
Head Coach Juan Amoros said: “I think we showed unbelievable character to come back after 2-0 with the weather conditions, with 10 women on the pitch – we kept fighting for each other and the girls were outstanding with the football they played and how they believed in the way we want to do things. In the first half, we were letting ourselves down a bit technically. We were trying to be brave, doing what we believe on the ball, trying to be composed and I think that in the end the girls got hold of the game. We created some very good chances in the first half and if we had put that chance away (Dean hitting the post) it would probably have been a different outcome. Missing that chance and then conceding a goal was psychologically a bit difficult but the girls came back and did a great job after that.”
On the goalscorers, Juan added: “Angela brought a little bit of a spark in the forward line. Dropping Ria in with Josie (Green) helped the team, we got a bit more mobile in there and in the second half, we were a little bit better technically. I want to highlight Angela because she’s a young player in the squad, she works extremely hard and she’s been waiting for her chance for a long time and believing in the process of development. Every time she comes on she makes an impact – tonight with a great header, she was creating chances from the left-hand side and the credit goes to her and the rest of the girls that always support her and push her. With Emma, we told her from the first moment she joined us that we wanted to see a smile on her face and that’s what we’re seeing because her performances on the pitch have been outstanding. She’s got a great left foot – we gave her the duty tonight to take the free-kicks and she’s proven that she can do it and that she can do it really well! I’m extremely happy for her.”
Spurs Women 2-2 Everton Women
Spurs Women: Spencer, Neville, Filbey, Godfrey, Mitchell, Percival, Green (c), Peplow (Addison 46), Davison (Leon 89), Ayane, Dean (Quinn 90+3). Substitutes (not used): Morgan, Haines, Schillaci, Worm.
Everton Women: Korpela, Turner, Boye-Hlorkah, Kaagman, George, Magill (Cain 64), Kelly (Stringer 76), Morgan, Graham (c), Finnigan, Clemaron (Pike 88). Substitutes (not used): MacIver, Hinds, Van Es, Levell.
Goals: Spurs - Addison 68, Mitchell 78; Everton - Kelly 31, Kaagman 57.
Yellow cards: Everton - Kelly 29, Cain 86; Spurs - Percival 61.
Red card: Spurs - Ayane 77.
Referee: Ryan Atkin.
Venue: The Hive, London.
Weather: Rain, six degrees.