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On-pitch racism incident mars Spurs Ladies’ 2-1 win over Sheffield

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The win took Spurs back to second in the table, but is overshadowed by what happened to Renee Hector.

Spurs Ladies defender Renee Hector
Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I

We haven’t talked about Tottenham Hotspur Ladies much in the past few weeks — my fault, it’s been busy enough just covering the men’s team. But after a post-Manchester United blip that saw them also lose to Durham in the league and to London Bees in the Cup, Spurs stormed back to reclaim second place in the table today thanks to a 2-1 away win over Sheffield United.

You can read a report of the match on Sheffield United’s website.

Spurs got a first half goal from leading scorer Rianna Dean who fired home a rebound after teammate Sarah Wiltshire hit the crossbar. The winner came from Wiltshire herself in the second half to get the away win. The results, combined with Durham drawing at Charlton, helped Spurs leap back up to 2nd, just one point behind United.

The win is fantastic, and continues what could end up being the season that sends Spurs to the first division in English women’s football. However, the match was notable for another, much less good reason. Spurs defender Renee Hector posted on Twitter after the match, accusing an unnamed member of the Sheffield squad with racist behavior directed at her during the game.

Note that this isn’t a Sheffield fan — it’s a Sheffield player, which to me is unconscionable. Her Spurs teammates and fans from both Tottenham and Sheffield have rallied around her on social media, which is as heartening as the incident is disheartening. This kind of behavior is shocking and is almost certainly going to be dealt with by the FA, hopefully swiftly.

Spurs Ladies’ next match is next Sunday against ninth-place Lewes.

UPDATE: Both Tottenham Hotstpur Ladies and Sheffield United Women have responded to Hector’s allegations via Twitter.