Spurs Ladies manager proud of her players after narrow Women’s FA Cup defeat to Aston Villa

Spurs Ladies manager Karen Hills was proud of her side’s efforts and felt her players matched Women’s Super League outfit Aston Villa on Sunday, despite their exit in the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup.

Tottenham play in the tier below Villa, who ply their trade in WSL Division Two – which begins on March 24 - but the Lilywhites led twice against their visitors at Cheshunt FC.

Bianca Baptiste fired Spurs into the lead after just two minutes and, although Destiny Toussaint levelled just before the half-hour mark, Baptiste restored the home side’s advantage after 64 minutes.

However, the visitors levelled seven minutes from time via Mollie Rouse and, while Toni-Anne Wayne made a fine late save to send the tie to extra time, she was unable to stop Katie Wilkinson from scoring a decisive penalty for Villa in the 109th minute and securing a 3-2 victory.

Hills said: “It’s disappointing not to come away with the win, but from a performance basis I thought we worked exceptionally hard.

“I thought we matched them from the start to the end and took a Women’s Super League Two side to extra time. It just came down to the finer details, with a penalty separating the two teams.

“The girls are obviously disappointed, but we stayed strong, we stayed together. We move on as we look to prepare now for our [League Cup] quarter-final against Brighton.

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“Overall I’m proud of the girls. I thought they worked exceptionally hard and really showed grit and determination. From our point of view we’re happy with how the girls played, it didn’t look like we were a million miles away from them in terms of our performance.

“Obviously they are just coming back into it [with a few weeks to go until their season starts] but from where we are, I’m a manager who is very proud of each and every one of my players as they left everything on that pitch.”