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Talking points from victory over Reading as WSL status secured

Tue 23 May 2023, 14:00|Tottenham Hotspur

After our Barclays Women’s Super League status was secured with an emphatic 4-1 win over Reading at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, here are the key talking points.

Beth becomes Player of the Season

The decision to name Bethany England as our Junior and Adult Supporters’ Player of the Season had already been made by fan votes before Saturday’s game, but her contribution to the win against Reading reiterated how she’s made such an impressive impact since arriving from Chelsea in January.

Her brace against Reading - one a header from close-range and the other a clipped finish after going around the goalkeeper - took her tally up to 11 goals in 13 games in all competitions in Lilywhite (five of them in her last three games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium).

Including the first half of the season while at Chelsea, England is now up to 12 in the WSL for 2022/23, putting her third in the league's top scorers list going into the final weekend of the season.

That signature knee-slide celebration of hers is a sight we’ve enjoyed getting used to seeing.

Molly the creator

Teams don’t typically rely on centre-backs to provide assists, but Molly Bartrip’s top-draw distribution was on full display against her former side on Saturday as she set up two of our goals.

First, she created our opener. Receiving the ball from Eveliina Summanen’s short corner, Bartrip lifted it over to the far post for England to nod in our opener.

Then she provided the assist for our fourth and final goal of the game as, on 75 minutes, she clipped a long ball over the top of the Reading defence for Kit Graham to run on to. Kit then collected it well before going one-on-one with the keeper and slotting home.

The defender also completed the most passes in the match (63).

Sticking to the system

In her post-match media duties, Interim Head Coach Vicky Jepson reflected on her approach to our final eight games of the season, sticking to a 4-3-3 formation which would allow us to create more opportunities in front of goal.

“One thing that I really wanted to do was make things simple and specific,” she said.

"When you create more opportunities for a finisher like Beth, nine times out of 10 she'll finish them. I'm absolutely delighted with the opportunities she's put away and then there's one or two she's just pulled out of nowhere!”

'Pop, pop, pop!'

For our second goal of the game, scored by Celin Bizet, we produced a wonderful passage of play. The midfield three of Angharad James, Drew Spence and Eveliina Summanen all linked up with Bethany England to bypass Reading’s midfield with one-touch passes and movement.

Described by coaching staff and Celin herself as ‘pop, pop, pop,’ it created one of our best team goals of the season.

An historic double-header

Following on from the Premier League game against Brentford, Saturday represented the first time we’d ever held a competitive double-header at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. To mark the occasion by securing our WSL status for the 2023/24 season was the icing on the cake!