It’s rare that an entire season goes exactly the way that you want it to. There are swings and roundabouts, and sometimes you play really well one week and lose badly the next. So it was for Tottenham Hotspur Ladies. Karen Hills’ women suffered an early red card on their goalkeeper and never recovered afterwards, losing 6-1 to Durham Women at home on Sunday and completing a tough weekend of action for Spurs’ men’s and women’s team.
Durham are a solid team, expected by many to compete for promotion to the WSL this season along with Manchester United, so it’s not surprising to see them competing well. However, a 6-1 thumping was certainly unexpected.
Spurs’ match got off to an awful start in the opening minutes after Durham’s Emily Morgan scored early, and in the first 20 minutes of the match starting keeper Chloe Morgan was shown a red card for handling the ball outside of her area. Spurs spent the remainder of the match playing with 10 women, and everything just spiraled down from there.
Durham got two goals from Beth Hepple, and additional strikes from Sarah Robson, Zoe Ness and Chloe Ryan. Spurs got a consolation goal from Angela Addison early in the second half, and Durham also went down to ten as Becky Salicki received two yellow cards, but the match was already well over.
In quotes on Tottenham’s website, manager Karen Hills credited the Durham squad.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game and I think we cost ourselves a couple of goals in the first half and credit to them - they finished well. It’s always going to be an uphill challenge in the second half when you are 3-0 down and we came out in the second half and gifted them two goals, giving us a mountain to climb.
“The players stuck with it and created opportunities – it was just one of those days, football is sometimes a cruel game.”
It’s a disappointing loss for Spurs and one that drops them to fourth in the FA Women’s Championship table, behind Manchester United and Charlton Athletic, and behind Durham on goal differential. However, Spurs still have a game in hand on both Charlton and Durham.
Tottenham’s next match is a group stage match in the FA WSL Cup against London Bees on Wednesday; Spurs previously defeated the Bees 2-1 in their opening league match in September.