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Women's Football News
Tottenham Hotspur 5 Preston North End 1
Tottenham Hotspur moved into the Fourth Round of the FA Women's Cup with a sparkling 5-1 victory over Preston North End at the White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre.
With both teams occupying fifth place in their respective FAWPL divisions, an even match looked on the cards and for over half the contest, this was indeed the case. Spurs led at the break but the visitors had been denied the opener by an offside decision. A second goal for the hosts came immediately after a strong penalty claim for North End had been waved away but Spurs then dominated the rest of the match with some outstanding goals and excellent performances from every player, a great reward for getting the match played on a 4G pitch when their normal home venue at Ware was waterlogged.
Spurs had gone very close to taking an early lead through Kate O'Leary who saw her first effort well saved by Danielle Brown and her second cleared off the line by Laura Walker on nine minutes. Bianca Baptiste set up the next chance with a cross from the right which Lucia Leon met with a diving header narrowly wide on 13 minutes. The same player headed over from a Jenna Schillaci corner but Preston went very close when Sarah Chadwick forced Toni-Anne Wayne to turn a fierce shot away for a corner. From the set piece, the ball was cleared to Alice Forshaw wide on the right, who curled in a beautiful 20-yard shot beyond Wayne. The assistant's flag was raised, however, and after lengthy consultation a free kick was awarded to Spurs for offside.
Chelsea Flanagan had a 30-yard effort just over as Preston, with Paige Forster strong in midfield, had a spell of dominance. However, Spurs were always looking dangerous going forward. Brown produced a superb reaction save to tip over Avilla Bergin's powerful rising drive from ten yards but Spurs took the lead after good work on the left by Baptiste. Her cross found Wendy Martin whose effort was blocked but Maya Vio lofted the loose ball home from the edge of the area on 40 minutes.
Spurs returned with real purpose after the break, Baptiste going close to doubling the lead with a great run and cross shot just wide. A crucial moment in the match came when Preston's Chadwick went down in the area under challenge from a defender but penalty claims went unheeded. From keeper Wayne's long kick, Brown could only half clear with her feet, O'Leary lobbing the ball over the retreating keeper for a fine finish on 56 minutes.
Spurs then really turned on the style and created a series of chances through clever play and teamwork. Sophie McLean powered down the left and centred perfectly for Martin to guide the third home with a delicate touch just after the hour. Another super cross found Bergin in front of goal and she showed great awareness to backheel the ball for Vio to tap home her second from close range, despite appeals for offside on 68 minutes. Baptiste again shot just wide as the hosts dominated.
Preston went very close to reducing the deficit, Wayne producing a fine save to tip Jade Parker's powerful shot on to the bar and away for a corner. The Spurs keeper then dived to push away a Chadwick effort before the visitors got their reward. Chadwick showed great persistence to beat the last defender, to block Wayne's attempted clearance and accompany the rebound over the line for a deserved consolation on 85 minutes.
After a great team showing, the last goal went to Tottenham. Lucia Leon showed great enterprise to close down and rob a defender, then find a precise low finish at Brown's near post on 89 minutes for another excellent goal.
Every Spurs player played their part in a most impressive win over a North End side with a fine away record and which had played pretty well for long periods of the match. After a bitter shootout exit in the County Cup midweek, Preston had to fight a Spurs side which was in great form. The hosts are also still involved in the Ryman Cup and will hope to replicate today's showing in future ties.
Tottenham Hotspur: Toni-Anne Wayne, Sophie McLean, Lucia Leon, Jenna Schillaci, Alex Keown, Shannon Moloney, Wendy Martin, Maya Vio, Kate O'Leary, Avilla Bergin, Bianca Baptiste. Subs: Riana Soobadoo, Danya Chong, Leah Rawle, Andrea Marocci.
Preston North End: Danielle Brown, Beth Stanfield, Jade Parker, Laura Walker, Alice Forshaw, Aimee Cleaver, Paige Forster, Chelsea Flanagan, Yasmin Swarbrick, Holly Rawcliffe, Sarah Chadwick. Subs: Natasha Charlesworth, Kerry Nickson, Rebecca Foster, Emily Hutton.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Sarah Chadwick takes on Jenna Schillaci
(middle) Yasmin Swarbrick slides in to tackle Avilla Bergin
(bottom) Bianca Baptiste gets in a shot past Rebecca Foster
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