Tottenham Ladies promotion hopes hit by heavy loss

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies defender Ashleigh Neville in action against Manchester United Women (pic: W

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies defender Ashleigh Neville in action against Manchester United Women (pic: Wu's Photography). - Credit: Archant

FA Women’s Championship: Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 1 Manchester United Women 5

Spurs Ladies suffered back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season after losing 5-1 at home to FA Women’s Championship title rivals Manchester United Women on Sunday.

Although it wasn’t the desired result, a new attendance record at Cheshunt FC’s Theobalds Lane was set with 1,607 fans present for the final home game of the 2018/19 campaign.

Karen Hills’ side made the worst possible start, though, as they went 2-0 down inside 12 minutes - Katie Zelem provided the early goals for the visitors.

A free-kick from captain Jenna Schillaci halved the deficit and gave Spurs a glimmer of hope, however the half-time whistle came at the wrong stage for the home side, who were just starting to gain momentum.

United showed their strength in the second half and went on to dominate the game with goals from Mollie Green, Jess Sigsworth and Leah Galton.

Spurs are now four points behind the Red Devils, who have a game in hand. The Lilywhites face a big challenge in their quest for promotion with three tough away games remaining against Charlton Athletic Women, Aston Villa Ladies and Durham Women.

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Hills was without England Under-19 starlet, Jessica Naz, who missed out through injury and head coach Juan Amoros was absent from the dugout due to personal reasons.

Zelem put the visitors ahead after four minutes – a looping effort from the midfielder, helped in by the wind, beat Chloe Morgan on her line.

Eight minutes later, Zelem tucked away a penalty, following a foul from Megan Wynne on Galton.

Schillaci brought the Lilywhites back into the game after 35 minutes – her free-kick from over 20-yards out flashed past the United players into the bottom left corner.

The visitors scored their third within two minutes of the interval as Green converted Galton’s cross.

Sigsworth extended United’s lead with nine minutes remaining - her header from Lizzie Arnot’s cross made it 4-1, before Galton turned in Zelem’s cross minutes before the full-time whistle.

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies: Chloe Morgan, Josie Green (Bianca Baptiste 63), Sophie, Mclean, Reneé Hector, Rianna Dean, Jenna Schillaci ©, Megan Wynne (Lucia Leon 59), Angela Addison, Emma Beckett (Sarah Wiltshire 88), Ashleigh Neville, Coral Haines

Unused substitutes: Emma Gibbon, Anna Filbey, Anne Meiwald, Ryah Vyse.

Manchester United Women: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Greenwood, Amy Turner, Ella Toone, Mollie Green (Lauren James 51), Jess Sigsworth, Katie Zelem, Leah Galton, Charlie Devlin (Lizzie Arnot 65), Kirsty Smith (Martha Harris 82), Millie Turner

Unused substitutes: Emily Ramsey, Aimee Palmer, Kirsty Hanson.

Attendance: 1,607.