Lucy Quinn’s first-half strike secured Spurs their first away victory in the FA Women’s Super League, and leapfrog Birmingham City into seventh position.
Olli Harder’s side endured another defeat at home, and yet to register a point at their new home, the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Story of the match
After some great passages of play between Emily van Egmond and Adriana Leon, but the Australian international’s close-range effort was comfortably saved by Becky Spencer.
Moments later, West Ham almost gifted the visitors a goalscoring opportunity after a mix up between Gill Flaherty and Laura Vetterlein, but Spurs’ Rachel Williams disrupted the play after sustaining an injury and proved to be a huge relief for the Hammers backline.
But the home side failed to capitalise on Spurs’ sloppy defending, and eventually proved costly.
The visitors produced their first effort on goal, when Ria Percival’s deflected effort went to fellow team-mate Lucy Quinn who flicked her effort over the bar.
Rehanne Skinner’s side broke the deadlock in the 35th minute, and Spurs no.19 met Gemma Davison low cross, and Quinn tapped her effort into the bottom right corner to give the visitors the lead.
The home side responded positively, and showed elements of their attacking flair as Martha Thomas finds Leon, who back-heeled her effort – but didn’t have enough power to slot it past the keeper.
Minutes later, Spurs’ almost doubled their lead as Davison almost scored from her corner kick, but Arnold tipped her effort over the bar.
West Ham continued to mount further pressure as they search for an equaliser. The Hammers came close, when Leon’s clipped a free-kick met van Egmond, who thumped her header straight at Spencer.
Olli Harder’s side went even closer, as Katerina Svitkova curled a low effort which went narrowly wide.
The Australian international fired a powerful effort towards goal, but the visitors produced some brilliant last-ditch challenges that denied West Ham an equaliser.
Substitute Maz Pacheco produced some bursting runs in the final third, and earned her side a free-kick. Vetterlein delivered the free-kick, and Grace Fisk meets the header, but Spencer produced another great save.
The visitors shined through, and showed their resilience to see out this game and secured all three points.
- Takeaways from the match
We got to admire Spurs' resilience throughout this game. They have come a long way, since their 4-0 defeat against their North-London rivals Arsenal back in September. In that particular cup game, Tottenham were calmed, composed, and showed their physicality throughout the first half. They eventually collapsed in the second half.
It was not the case, this time around. Rehanne Skinner’s side didn’t start the game positively, and there was a series of calamitous mistakes, with the likes of Ashleigh Neville at left-back, who was sloppy in failing to retain possession of the ball and showed some lapse of concentration. However, it did not result in West Ham breaking the deadlock.
Lucy Quinn’s goal restored a lot of belief into the team, before half-time. The big talking was whether Tottenham could see this game out in a convincing manner, and they did.
Spurs’ backline redeemed themselves in the second half, and they were feisty and fiercely competitive. Hannah Godfrey and co were commanding and professional to earn a clean sheet. They battled hard and won every battle that went against them.
West Ham did make it difficult for Tottenham, and retained a lot of ball possession. Tottenham read the game brilliantly and knew when to attack and sit back. Not just the Spurs backline, the rest of the team put themselves forward, by committing bodies in and around the box. Spurs kept their momentum going before Christmas, and got their reward.
Hope this result is a big turning point for Spurs this season and can build upon this victory. As we can see that they are building a real and positive team culture both on and off the pitch.
- Player of the match – Hannah Godfrey
The visitor’s backline produced some sloppy moments at the back, during the first half. It could have proved costly and the home side could have opened the scoring. Since Quinn’s opener, Spurs looked formidable at the back, including Godfrey and showed their true defensive qualities that came into fruition.
Godfrey produced one of their best defensive displays this season – last ditch challenges, headers and aerial duels that helped to secure their first win away from home in the FA Women’s Super League.