Haran Naresh watched on from The People’s Pension Stadium as Tottenham Hotspur Women were beaten by Brighton & Hove Albion Women.
The People’s Pension Stadium (credit Andrew Skudder/Wikimedia Commons)
Tottenham Hotspur Women’s flawless start to the WSL season came to an end at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion Women.
Goals from Geummin Lee and Victoria Williams gave the home side the three points, with Kit Graham getting a consolation for Spurs.
Brighton had the first real attacking foray of the game when Ellie Brazil sent a shot straight at Becky Spencer.
Chioma Ubogagu started the game well, causing Brighton right-back Emma Koivisto problems with her pace and trickery. Ugobagu teased Koivisto before putting in a ball that was headed behind.
From the resulting set piece Ashleigh Neville peeled away from her marker and headed just wide.
In the 21st minute the ball was cleared towards Neville and she drilled a half-volley that forced Megan Walsh to make a save.
Both sides made a scrappy start, giving the ball away on a regular basis.
Danielle Carter found Inessa Kaagman and she attempted a chip which went just over the bar.
A big chance went begging for Brighton in the 32nd minute. Geummin Lee fired an effort towards goal which was spilt by Spencer. Aileen Whelan appeared to be presented with a tap in but shot straight at Spencer from point-blank range.
Brighton began to raise the tempo after making a slow start.
Carter surged down the line before cutting back and laying the ball off to Kaagman who hit the crossbar with her effort.
Lee gave Brighton the lead with 37 minutes on the clock. The ball was cleared into her path and she released a low shot that Spencer could only push into the net.
In the 44th minute Kit Graham turned and hit an effort from 25 yards that landed on top of the net.
At this stage Spurs were being restricted to speculative shots from distance.
Brighton were firmly in control and had another good opening when Lee had a shot saved by Spencer from close range.
Kaagman found Lee with a through ball and she squared to Carter in space but she could only muster a tame shot that was easily collected by Spencer.
With 55 minutes gone Emily Simpkins was found in an ocean of space and had her effort blocked.
At other end Kit Graham went on a strong run before delivering a ball that was cut out. From the corner, Rachel Williams directed a header that Walsh pushed away.
In the 63rd minute Neville gave the ball away to Carter and she hit a fierce strike that rattled the top of the crossbar.
Ubogagu was becoming increasingly involved and directed an effort on goal that Walsh spilled before collecting on her second attempt.
Graham ran at Koivisto and turned her inside out before scuffing a shot on goal.
The game was hanging in the balance, with neither team managing to get control in the second half.
The away side were reduced to 10 players in the 76th minute after Williams received a second yellow card for putting in a hefty challenge on Fliss Gibbons.
Brazil picked out Maisie Symonds in the penalty area and her back-heel was blocked.
Brighton worked the ball well to Carter in the 84th minute but she blazed well over.
Victoria Williams added Brighton’s second in the 86th minute. She arrived at the back post at a corner and could not get a clean connection with her first attempt but poked home second time round.
Spurs hit back immediately, with Graham surging into the box before slotting into the bottom corner.
Tottenham piled on the pressure in injury time but the home side saw the game out with some excellent defending.
Tottenham had their chances in the game and could have easily rescued a point had they showed more composure in the final third.
Spurs Women manager Rehanne Skinner will take positives from the attacking performance but will be aware that her side were far too open defensively.
Tottenham Hotspur Women host Charlton Athletic Women in the Continental League Cup on Wednesday.