Tottenham Hotspur Women began their Women’s Super League season with a win over Birmingham City Women.
Tottenham Hotspur stadium (photo by Stephen Furner)
Kit Graham’s first-half effort got Rehanne Skinner’s side off to the perfect start to the season.
In the 4th minute Graham took a good touch in the box and had her shot deflected behind for a corner.
From the following corner, the ball reached Jessica Naz, who attempted a curling effort which sailed wide.
Tottenham dominated proceedings early on, with Naz getting lots of touches on the left flank.
Ashleigh Neville cut inside and put in a teasing cross which was met by Green but she could only shoot wide amidst pressure from Birmingham City goalkeeper Emily Ramsey.
After having to withstand heavy Spurs pressure, Birmingham City had their first attacking foray in the 26th minute. A cross from the left wing was missed by two players in the middle.
In the 39th minute Graham found Ria Percival on the edge of the area, whose shot was blocked by Gemma Lawley.
Tottenham’s dominance finally paid dividends in the 40th minute. A corner was taken short to Graham, who put in a teasing ball into the area that was missed by everyone and went into the far corner.
A minute into the second half Neville took a free-kick from 30 yards which swerved and forced Ramsey to punch the ball away.
Lisa Robertson went on a run down the left flank for Birmingham City and put in a good cross but there were no blue shirts in the area.
The impressive Graham went on a surging run upfield and after turning the Birmingham defence inside out, hit a fierce shot that went just over the bar.
In the first quarter of the second half the away side showed more attacking intent than they had done in the entire first 45 minutes.
Sarah Ewens played the ball down the left flank into the path of Veatriki Sarri, who turned and was fouled. Lucy Quinn’s delivery from the resulting set-piece found Lucy Whipp but her attempt was blocked.
Tottenham still continued to create openings of their own. They won the ball high up the pitch and debutant Tang Jiali collected it just outside the area and quickly bent an effort wide despite seemingly having more time to get closer to the goal.
Tang was involved a minute later when she received the ball from Naz and drove a low shot narrowly wide.
Naz found Green in space on the right and she had a tame shot from a wide angle saved when it looked she had better options in the area.
For all of Spurs’ dominance, the away side were still in the game. A Birmingham cross reached Sarri, who turned brilliantly and took a shot on the half-volley which forced Tinja-Riikka Korpela to make her first difficult save of the evening.
Rehanne Skinner will be pleased with Tottenham’s display but will know that their inefficiency in the final third will be punished by better opposition than a Birmingham City side who have now gone 15 league games without a win.
Tottenham Hotspur Women pay a visit to Manchester City Women next Sunday before hosting Reading Women on 26th September.
Tottenham Hotspur Women manager Rehanne Skinner speaking at the post-match press conference: “We’re delighted with a win. We created lots of chances. We’ve kept a clean sheet within the game and we didn’t feel like we were troubled. We’ve got those chances, we’ve just got to try and finish them moving forward.”