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.
@ThlfcOfficial move up to 2nd and only 1 point behind Man Utd. Perfect start to 2019, next week we're at home to Lewes. Another 3 points is vital! #SpursLadies #COYS pic.twitter.com/CA4rG4QnEK— Spurs Ladies Supporters Club (@thlfcsg) January 6, 2019
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.
Such a shame that racism seems to be rising up again in football - I received some monkey noises today from an opposition player. The only reaction was to let the football do the talking and that we did great start to the year! @ThlfcOfficial #COYSL #SHEvTOT #KickItOut— Renée Hector (@renazzza) January 6, 2019
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.
The Club is aware of allegations of racial abuse made by Renée Hector following today’s victory at Sheffield United Women, that were reported to the referee by the player during the match. [1/2]— Tottenham Hotspur Ladies (@ThlfcOfficial) January 6, 2019
We have since reported the alleged incident to the FA and await their response. We shall be making no further comment on the allegations at this time. [2/2]— Tottenham Hotspur Ladies (@ThlfcOfficial) January 6, 2019
Sheffield United are aware of the allegations made on social media following today’s fixture against Tottenham Hotspur Ladies.— Sheffield United Women (@sufc_women) January 6, 2019
We can advise that the club is conducting a thorough investigation into this matter.