Four-midable Tottenham Ladies move a step closer to title

Nikita Whinnett, Lucia Leon, Renee Hector and Jenna Schillaci celebrate a Tottenham Ladies goal agai

Nikita Whinnett, Lucia Leon, Renee Hector and Jenna Schillaci celebrate a Tottenham Ladies goal against Portsmouth earlier in the season. Picture: WUSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM - Credit: Archant

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies picked up a 4-1 performance on the south coast against Portsmouth – a result which took the Lilywhites a step closer to the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division crown.

Off the back of retaining the Boux Avenue (Ryman) Women’s Cup, Karen Hills’ team came out the blocks with pace and guile.

Bianca Baptiste had the best chance in the opening stages of the half.

Toni-Anne Wayne on the half-volley pinpointed a pass towards Wendy Martin. She popped it into the path of Baptiste whose dipper on the volley was held by Emily Paines.

The breakthrough came in an exhilarating exchange. Kelley Blanchflower’s one-two with Martin set her free and when she got to the byline, her cross was headed home by the latter.

Martin headed inches over before a cross from Baptiste was hit wide of the right-hand post by Sophie McLean as Spurs pushed for a second.

And it arrived with 31 minutes on the clock. Baptiste swept a pass down the channel to Leah Rawle bursting with pace and, although her cross evaded Martin, it found Blanchflower who half-volleyed it back across goal.

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Pompey came close to responding immediately. Natasha Stephens broke to the edge of the area before laying a pass into Gemma Hillier.

Unfortunately for her the shot missed the woodwork by a whisker.

Riana Soobadoo picked out Baptiste and her byline cross found Martin at the near-post who stroked across the face of goal, coming within inches of creeping in.

With four minutes left of the half, Tottenham found a third.

Lucia Leon slipped Martin through and when her strike across goal was palmed out by Paines towards Baptiste, she emphatically powered home.

Paines denied Baptiste before the hosts pulled one back 10 minutes after the restart.

Katie James hit the post on the stretch, Sammy Quayle latched onto the rebound and played Hillier through to sweetly strike home on the volley.

But the comeback lasted all of three minutes; Leon created space inside the area to find the gap and finish with precision.

Nikita Whinnett headed inches across goal and had a 20-yard effort which almost crept through Paines’ legs.

Tottenham remain top, still four points clear of Charlton Athletic, but now eight ahead of Cardiff City with five games to go.

And the two teams meet on Sunday, knowing a Spurs victory will all but hand the title to them.

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