Tottenham Hotspur Women 1-1 West Ham United match report: Adriana Leon's stunning strike denies Spurs an opening day victory
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Tottenham were dominant in the opening stages and came close to breaking the deadlock with striker Kit Graham hitting the woodwork twice.

The home side broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute when Grace Fisk headed the ball into the Hammers net. 

Moments later, Adriana Leon’s sublime finish cancelled out Spurs opener and she came close once again, with a close-range diving header stopped by Rebecca Spencer.

The visitors came extremely close to securing an opening day win when Ruby Grant’s low strike went agonisingly wide.

Story of the match

In the early stages of the first half, Tottenham were on the front foot and in the eighth minute, forward Lucy Quinn’s left-footed strike was comfortably saved by West Ham goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.

Moments later, the home side were close to taking the lead as Kit Graham was denied by the crossbar twice after a thumping header from Siri Worm’s fine cross ricocheted off the bar and was followed up with a shot from long range which also rattled the crossbar.

West Ham started to grow more into the game and mounted pressure when Kenza Dali’s direct shot was saved by Spencer.

In the second half, the home side continued to dominate possession and came close yet again when Arnold denied Angela Addison’s strike. But, from the resulting corner, Tottenham broke the deadlock as a corner was diverted by Hammers defender Fisk who turned the ball into her own net.

Just minutes later though and West Ham equalised through Adriana Leon, who fired into the top corner, the Canadian international did extremely well to cut past two defenders before cutting her finish into the top corner.

Tottenham regained pressure and Gemma Davison went close as she saw her shot saved before Laura Vetterlein’s header was denied as the visitors continued to search for the winning goal.

Leon came close again with a thumping header which was denied by Spencer while Davison failed to capitalise on a goal-scoring opportunity as her shot went wide.

In injury time, the visitors had a glorious opportunity to grab the winner and Hammers substitute Grant dragged her shot wide as they missed out on an opening day victory over their London rivals.

Takeaways from the match

Spurs’ all-round performance

A disappointing way to start the season, but was a fair result for both sides. Spurs' defence looked shaky at times, though Kerys Harrap looks like a good signing. It would be interesting to see how Shelina Zadorsky will do for the Hammers. With that being said, Harrop and the Spurs defence managed to keep Rachel Daly quiet throughout the second half.

If they are going to push for a top-six finish, Spurs will need to take as many points as they can by converting their missed opportunities into goals. The home side had a number of chances in the second half due to poorly weighted passes and the team failing to make big runs. It’s an area of improvement moving forward if they are to progress this season.

Rianna Dean fails to deliver

Today was not Rianna Dean’s day in front of goal. Last season, she scored in all of their fixtures against West Ham but failed to get on the scoresheet on Sunday. She was invisible today and will need to come good this season.

The visitors did extremely well to keep Dean out of the game as they were so strong defensively as a unit. This side will need Dean’s goals as the season goes on if they are to challenge at the top end of the WSL table. With Juan Amonos and Karen Hills securing their futures at the club, there is no doubt that they will help in Dean’s development for the long-term as well as supporting the new signings adapt and integrate into this exciting team.

Player of the match

Kit Graham – She was unlucky not to score twice in the first half – both efforts came off the bar. Graham brought a lot of flair and creativity into the final third and made this side tick. She previously played for Charlton Athletic and was impressive in the FA Women’s Championship in 2018/19, scoring 16 times in 19 games. The former Charlton player scored four times last season and she is already looking to improve their goalscoring record.

If she can convert those efforts into goals, it will be a big step forward for her playing career and professional development. At the same time, her goals can bring success to this ever-growing side.

VAVEL Logo