Green screamer helps Tottenham Ladies sting London Bees in Championship opener
- Credit: Archant
FA Women’s Championship: Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 2 London Bees 1
Josie Green scored a memorable winning goal as Spurs Ladies came from behind to defeat London Bees 2-1 in the opening game of the FA Women’s Championship at Cheshunt FC on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors took the lead in the first half through Paula Howells, but a fighting second half display from the Lilywhites resulted in a penalty converted by Coral-Jade Haines and a 25-yard thunderbolt from Green gave them a winning league start.
Karen Hills made two changes to the team that started against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Continental Tyres Cup as Chloe Morgan regained her position in goal and Haines returned to the midfield for this London derby.
The first half presented very few clear cut opportunities but it was the away team who started the strongest as Morgan was tested twice in the opening stages with efforts from Howells and Ellie Wilson.
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Ashleigh Neville looked a serious threat from set pieces and she came close on two occasions in the space of just a couple minutes. The first, with a header into the near post from a corner that Annabel Johnson cleared off the line for Bees and her second attempt, yet another header that just went inches wide.
London Bees were one up after 22 minutes when a corner kick delivered by Howells found its way into the far corner to the home side’s frustration.
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Spurs started to settle into the game towards the end of the first half and Sophie McLean came close to scoring just before the break after she did brilliantly to prevent a counter attack by Bees and tried her luck from 30 yards, only to see her strike marginally miss the target.
Shortly after the interval, Hills replaced Angela Addison with Bianca Baptiste and the striker’s fresh legs caused problems for Bees as clear cut chances started to present themselves in front of goal following the change.
Spurs looked threatening in attack and Rianna Dean came close to finding the equaliser with a header that Sarah Quantrill tipped over the crossbar, after a delightful ball into the penalty area from Megan Wynne.
With 73 minutes on the clock, youngster Jess Naz, who was impressive once again, was fouled inside the penalty area by Rosie Lane and a confident Haines stepped up to fire the spot kick powerfully down the middle to bring Spurs on level terms.
Seven minutes later, Bees failed to clear their lines from a corner and were punished as Green smashed the ball on the half volley into the top left corner from 25 yards out, with her sensational goal proving to be the winner.
Spurs Ladies: Chloe Morgan, Megan Wynne, Renée Hector, Jenna Schillaci ©, Ashleigh Neville, Sophie McLean, Josie Green, Coral-Jade Haines (Lucia Leon 75), Jess Naz, Rianna Dean (Sarah Wiltshire 75), Angela Addison (Bianca Baptiste 47).
Unused substitutions: Emma Gibbon, Anna Filbey.
London Bees: Sarah Quantrill, Annabel Johnson, Danielle Lea, Rosie Lane, Ellie Wilson, Emma Beckett ©, Merrick Will (Taylor O’Leary 60), Destiny Toussaint, Ruesha Littlejohn, Paula Howells (Lauren Pickett 89), Katie Wilkinson (Anne-Laure Davy 81).
Unused substitutions: Tricia Gould, Ocean Rolandsen, Nicola Gibson, Mollie Dench.
Venue: Cheshunt FC