FA Cup quarter-finals await for Spurs Women
Spurs Women 2-1 Sheffield United (AET)
Sun 16 May 2021, 17:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs Women advanced in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on Sunday (16 May) after a professional 2-1 victory in the fifth round over Sheffield United at The Hive.
Kit Graham’s extra-time winner confirmed back-to-back appearances in the quarter-finals for the Club, after Lucy Quinn’s first-half opener was matched by Lucy Watson’s late equaliser.
Rehanne Skinner made two changes to the side that beat Birmingham City 1-0 last Sunday in the WSL, with Angela Addison and Esther Morgan replacing Chloe Peplow and Kerys Harrop in the starting XI. Ria Percival appeared as a second-half substitute, playing her first minutes since March after recovering from injury.
We quickly established ourselves the more confident of the two sides, persistently breaking down our visitors’ defence, who remained disciplined throughout the opening period. Opportunities from So-hyun Cho, Graham and Quinn all forced saves from Blades’ goalkeeper Frances Kitching inside the first 20 minutes, while at the other end, Becky Spencer was called into action when she confidently claimed Courtney Sweetman-Kirk’s long-range effort.
We broke the deadlock after half-an-hour, when Quinn collected possession on the right, before cutting inside and unleashing a thunderous strike into the top corner of the net.
A prolonged spell of attacking pressure followed from Sheffield United, but their series of corners were managed superbly by our solid defensive line.
On the hour mark, substitute Percival got straight back to work following two months on the sidelines when she drove a low shot at goal which flew inches wide of the post.
We continued to search for a second goal and after 71 minutes, Cho came desperately close when the ball fell to her on the edge of Sheffield United’s box. The South Korea international drilled an effort towards goal, which crashed against the goalpost before the Blades quickly dealt with the rebound.
With 10 minutes of normal time remaining, the visitors found an equaliser when Watson charged down a clearance and slotted the ball into the empty net from a tight angle.
We continued to battle and after 89 minutes, Graham accurately moved through the middle and provided Jess Naz with an excellent pass out wide. Naz hit a powerful shot which flew over the crossbar, confirming the tie would be taken to extra-time.
Our winner came in the 108th minute when Graham latched onto Naz’s cross with a pinpoint header which soared into the net, securing her second winning goal in as many matches and clinching our second successive spot in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The tournament now rolls over into next season - we return to Women's FA Cup action on the weekend of 29 September, with our quarter-final opponents expected to be announced soon.
Away from the pitch on Sunday, captain Shelina Zadorsky was named the 2020/21 Spurs Women Player of the Season, while Alanna Kennedy’s sublime free-kick against Manchester United (25 April) was voted Goal of the Season.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'Everybody went for it, as you would expect in a cup game'
Rehanne Skinner told Spurs TV: "It's a great way to finish the season. Overall we put in a lot of hard work over the course of the game, we managed it at certain times better than others and dealt with a few formational changes from the other team. Obviously we're pleased to come out the other side."
Spurs Women 2-1 Sheffield United (AET)
Spurs: Spencer, E. Morgan, McManus, Zadorsky (c), Neville, Cho, Graham, Quinn (Davison 65), Addison (Percival 46 (Green 106)), Naz, Williams (Ayane 96). Substitutes (not used): Martin, Harrop, Peplow, Worm, Godfrey.
Sheffield United: Kitching, Rolandsen (Dixon 56), Hartley, Little (c), Johnson, Lipka, Cusack, Lord-Mears, Rayner (Matthews 73), Sweetman-Kirk (Walton 95), Wilkinson (Watson 56). Substitute (not used): Batty.
Goals: Spurs – Quinn 30, Graham 108; Sheffield United – Watson 80.
Referee: Abigail Byrne.
Venue: The Hive, Edgware.
Weather: Light showers, 14 degrees.
Attendance: Behind closed doors.