Gibbon is the hero for Spurs in Continental Tyres Cup success
- Credit: Archant
Continental Tyres Cup Group One South: Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 2 Brighton & Hove Albion Women 2 (10-9 after penalties)
Young goalkeeper, Emma Gibbon scored the decisive spot kick to give Spurs Ladies a dramatic 10-9 penalty shoot-out victory against Brighton & Hove Albion Women in the Continental Tyres Cup.
The Tottenham Hotspur Ladies were in control at half-time with a 2-0 advantage, thanks to goals from Riana Dean and Megan Wynne but Victoria Williams’ goal gave the Women’s Super League side hope after the break, before Ini Umotong grabbed an injury time equaliser for the visitors.
For the second week running, the game was forced into penalties, in line with the Continental Tyres Cup rules, to determine who would get the bonus point up for grabs in Group One South.
Sophie McLean, Coral-Jade Haines, Dean, Anna Filbey all converted their penalties calmly but as Sophie Perry missed for Albion, so did Wendy Martin for the Lilywhites.
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The drama continued, and Lucia Leon, Renée Hector, Jenna Schillaci, Wynne and Ashleigh Neville all scored to keep the side’s hopes alive.
But after the penalty disappointment against Crystal Palace last weekend, it was Spurs’ time to celebrate as Gibbon’s penalty kick secured the victory, following a miss by Lucy Gillett.
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Triumph in the shoot-out meant that Spurs took two points from the game and moved up to third place in their group, ahead of London Bees, Yeovil Town and Brighton.
Karen Hills made three changes to the team that started against Palace last weekend, as she handed 19-year-old Gibbon and Filbey their first competitive home debuts since joining the Lilywhites in the summer and introduced McLean into the midfield.
The Lilywhites got off to a flying start and were one up after seven minutes as Albion goalkeeper, Sophie Harris only managed to clear an effort on goal from Angela Addison into Dean’s path who converted calmly from close range.
Addison caused havoc for the Albion defence all afternoon and in a similar scenario to the first goal, Harris spilled a shot from the forward, but this time it was Wynne who was in the right place at the right time to slot home the misplaced clearance for 2-0.
Spurs looked most impressive out of the two sides and they should have led by three goals but a strike from Neville was ruled offside just before the half-time whistle.
As expected, Hope Powell’s side came out raring to go in the second period and some early pressure led to a goal from Williams, who drilled a deflected shot from Laura Rafferty inside Gibbon’s left post after 51 minutes.
The away side had two more opportunities to equalise, the first came from Jenna Legg, who was denied superbly by Gibbon and then eight minutes from full time, Aileen Whelan had the ball in the back of the net, only to see her effort ruled offside.
Second half substitute, Haines had a crack on goal late on and came extremely close from a free kick on the left wing, but it went just inches wide of the crossbar.
But Albion continued to pile on the pressure and came up with a dramatic 91st minute equaliser as Umotong headed in a cross from Sophie Perry to make it 2-2, but Spurs claimed the extra point with a shoot-out win.
Tottenham Hotspur Ladies: Emma Gibbon, Josie Green (Wendy Martin 88), Sophie McLean, Renée Hector, Rianna Dean, Jenna Schillaci, Megan Wynne, Angela Addison (Lucia Leon 80), Anna Filbey, Jess Naz (Coral-Jade Haines 73), Ashleigh Neville.
Unused substitutions: Anne Meiwald, Ryah Vyse, Sarah Wiltshire.
Brighton & Hove Albion Women: Sophie Harris (Lucy Gilett 58), Laura Rafferty, Vicoria Williams, Sophie Perry, Fliss Gibbons, Jenna Legg (Kayleigh Green 78), Danielle Buet, Kirsty Barton, Kate Natkiel (Aileen Whelan 58), Jodie Brett, Ini Umotong.
Unused substitutions: Beth Roe, Emily Simpkins, Fern Whealan, Amanda Nilden.