Perfect start to the season continues for Spurs Women against Reading
Spurs Women 1-0 Reading Women
Sun 26 September 2021, 17:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Jessica Naz struck late as Spurs Women beat Reading Women 1-0 at the Hive in the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) on Sunday afternoon.
The forward, who celebrated her birthday on Friday, marked the occasion with a composed finish as we continued our perfect start to the season with three wins from three.
Chioma Ubogagu was handed her first start for the Club by Head Coach Rehanne Skinner as we made two changes from the team that beat Manchester City before the international break. Kit Graham was also recalled to the starting line-up having played a key part in that historic comeback.
We had our first attempt on goal in the 10th minute after Maeva Clemaron did excellently to win possession in the midfield, before offloading the ball to Graham who drove at the Reading defence and unleashed a powerful effort that was held well by Grace Maloney.
Our back line was then called into action after a slip from Molly Bartrip sent Deanne Rose through one-on-one, however she was met by Becky Spencer who pounced on the shot to keep the game goalless.
Ria Percival’s free-kick from close range went narrowly over the crossbar just after the half-an-hour mark, while a goalmouth scramble prevented us from taking the lead at the end of the first half. Graham was initially denied by Maloney, then Ubogagu’s effort was blocked, before her deflected cross fell to the feet of Ria Percival who had a powerful shot stopped on the line and her follow-up attempt put behind for a corner which was cleared by Reading.
We began the second half like we finished the first - on the front foot. Graham released Ubogagu down the right, but much like the first period, the Reading defence stood strong and blocked her attempt.
Rose curled one from distance for the visitors which despite dipping late, didn't trouble Spencer’s goal. Rachel Williams, who caused problems for Reading all afternoon, had two chances in quick succession. First, a whipped cross from Percival was met by the forward, but she was unable to get enough power on her diving header, which was followed shortly after by a fiercely hit strike towards the top corner which narrowly missed the target.
Graham managed to work an opening on her left foot but her strike was stopped brilliantly by Maloney before we finally broke the deadlock with five minutes remaining. Substitute Jiali Tang made an instant impact as her first touch flicked the ball over the Reading defence and Naz stayed composed to slot home her first goal of the season to make it 1-0.
The win continued our perfect start to the WSL campaign and moved us to the top of the table. Our next game is away to Arsenal on Wednesday (29 September) in the Women’s FA Cup.
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Spurs Women 1-0 Reading Women
Spurs Women: Spencer, Zadorsky (c), Bartrip, Naz (Cho 90+3), Williams, Percival, Ale, Graham, Ubogagu (Ayane 84), Clemaron (Tang 84), Neville. Substitutes (not used): Korpela, Morgan, Green, Harrop, Addison, Flores.
Reading Women: Maloney, Bryson, Peplow, Evans, Rose (Eikeland 65), Harding, Harries (Woodham 79), Cooper, Chaplen, Vanhaevermaet, Dowie. Substitutes (not used): Stewart, Roberts, Lister, Baigent, Macdonald.
Goal: Spurs - Naz 85.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Ubogagu 38, Ale 73.
Referee: Amy Fearn.
Venue: The Hive.
Weather: Overcast, 20 degrees at kick-off.