Spurs Ladies made to work hard for sixth straight league win
- Credit: Archant
FA Women’s Championship: Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 2 Aston Villa Ladies 1
Spurs Ladies went five points clear at the top of the FA Women’s Championship on Sunday after a 2-1 win against Aston Villa Ladies - their sixth consecutive league win out of six this season.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Tottenham Hotspur against 10th-placed Villa as they were forced to fight back at home following an early goal for the visitors from Kerri Welsh.
But a crucial equaliser before half-time from Ashleigh Neville gave Spurs a much-needed boost for the second half, and then a late penalty scored by Rianna Dean eight minutes from the end secured a hard-fought three points for the league leaders.
Young goalkeeper Emma Gibbon was among the four changes to Karen Hills’ side that inflicted eight goals past Millwall Lionesses in their last outing as Lucia Leon, Josie Green and Bianca Baptiste all started at Cheshunt FC.
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The Lilywhites made a sloppy start to the game and were punished in the opening seven minutes as Welsh took advantage of a misplaced pass across the face of the goal from Gibbon to slot the ball into an empty net from close range.
With four minutes to go before the interval, Neville levelled for the home side with another powerful header, and her second goal in two league games, following a delightful delivery into the box from Angela Addison.
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Addison won a penalty for Spurs in the 82nd minute after her effort in the box was deemed to be handled by Nadine Hanssen.
In-form Dean stepped up to score her eighth league goal of the season as she slotted the spot kick past Sian Rogers to put Spurs ahead.
Villa had a goal ruled offside moments before the final whistle after Hassen headed in a cross from Asmita Ale, but Spurs thankfully held out for three points and continued their impressive winning streak.
Spurs Ladies: Emma Gibbon, Jenna Schillaci, Ashleigh Neville, Lucia Leon (Megan Wynne 45), Renée Hector, Josie Green, Coral Haines (Sophie Mclean 62), Jessica Naz, Angela Addison, Rianna Dean, Bianca Baptiste (Sarah Wiltshire 71).
Unused substitutes: Chloe Morgan, Anne Meiwald, Wendy Martin, Ryah Vyse.
Aston Villa Ladies: Sian Roger, Asmita Ale, Elisha N’Dow, Jade Richards, Hollie Gibson, Alice Hassall, Nadine Hanssen, Amy West, Alison Hall, Kerri Welsh (Tanisha Smith 66), Sophie Haywood (Phoebe Warner 56).
Unused substitutes: Asa Aguirre, Evie Gane, Ria Elsmore, Natasha Baptise, Ashlee Brown.