Spurs Ladies dig deep for first away win in WSL 2
Spurs Ladies have taken positives from each of their first three matches in the Women's Super League - on Sunday, it was holding onto a victory under pressure against London Bees.
Wendy Martin, a prolific goalscorer for the team over the years, opened her account at this level with a double in the first half to lay the foundations for a first away win in WSL 2.
However, Bees pulled a goal back before the break and it took some stout defending from skipper Jenna Schillaci and her defensive unit to see the team over the finish line.
"We took our foot off the gas a little at 2-0 and it was a lesson that we can't afford to do that at this level," said manager Karen Hills.
"It was a strange game because we started so well and got in such a great position but they came on strong in the second half and we had to defend well.
"We've had three very different games so far, all close, all difficult and this one showed we are capable of winning matches when we've not been at our best, so that's another positive."
Another week, another historic win for Tottenham Hotspur Ladies at The Hive.
Wendy Martin’s first-half double sealed victory for Karen Hills’ WSL 2 newcomers, whose resilience paid dividends in securing a 2-1 result on the road against London Bees.
Toni-Anne Wayne saved well from Jo Wilson before the Lilywhites opened their account with 16 minutes on the clock. Sarah Wiltshire’s strike was blocked towards Coral-Jade Haines, whose cross found Renee Hector to play back inside for Martin to poke home on the slide.
It was 2-0 after 23 minutes. Neville gained possession up high sending Martin away and she shimmied across before firing inside the near-post.
Ten minutes later, Martin sent Wiltshire away, forcing Rosie Lane to make a last-ditch tackle. Haines’ free-kick from 25 yards came within inches of lobbing Nicola Hobbs, who had to palm over.
The hosts clawed a goal back in the 42nd minute. Jenna Schillaci headed away Paula Howells’ attempted ball over the top which Evie Clarke latched onto to find Wilson who struck from six yards. Clarke then powered inches past the right post from 20 yards a minute before the break.
Baptiste tested Hobbs twice in quick succession at the start of the second half, cutting in from the left and firing at goal.
Bees’ Howells sent a deep cross towards Destiney Toussaint, who headed back across searching for Clarke, but Hector headed clear on 64 minutes. On 72 minutes, Lucia Leon combined with Martin to send Lauren Pickett away but her low, drilled cross was hooked away.
Sophie Fogarty’s left-sided cross found Wilson, whose volley was blocked by Josie Green six minutes from time. Three minutes later, Toussaint’s ball over the top dropped to Wilson who acrobatically fired over from close.
The last action saw Pickett break past Fogarty in the 89th minute looking to finish the game off, but her curler was caught by Hobbs.
Report from Khalid Karimullah at Barnet FC, The Hive
London Bees: Nicola Hobbs, Sophie Fogarty, Destiney Toussaint, Rosie Lane, Jo Wilson, Evie Clarke (Bolu Fisher 69), Paula Howells, Ocean Rolandsen, Emma Beckett, Taylor O’Leary, Ashleigh Goddard. Substitutes (not used) Sophie Harris, Hana Lalani, Kat Huggins, Alysha Stojko-Down, Lisa Milliken.
Spurs Ladies: Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon, Jenna Schillaci, Renee Hector, Ashleigh Neville, Josie Green, Sophie Mclean, Coral-Jade Haines (Maya Vio 74), Wendy Martin, Bianca Baptiste (Katie O’Leary 88), Sarah Wiltshire (Lauren Pickett 68). Substitute (not used) Chloe Morgan.
It's a quick turn around for Spurs Ladies as they take on WSL 1 side Bristol City in their first match of the Continental Tyres Cup. Chelsea, Yeovil and Brighton are also in the group. The competition's group stage sees four groups of five teams split geographically. The top two clubs in each group advance. If the result of a group match is drawn after 90 minutes, the match will go straight to penalties.