Tottenham Hotspur Women traveled to Brighton & Hove Albion with a chance to start the WSL season unbeaten and equal their entire league win total from last season. However, it was a frustrating afternoon for Spurs. Tottenham conceded a soft first half goal from Lee Guem-Min as a shot spilled through keeper Becky Spencer’s hands, had Rachel Williams sent off for two yellow cards, and conceded another to Victoria Williams to go down 2-0. Kit Graham clawed one goal back late, but a short-handed Spurs couldn’t complete the comeback and fell at the People’s Pension Stadium in Crawley. The final score was 2-1.
Rehanne Skinner made one change from last weekend’s win over Leicester City, opting to start with Rosella Ayane in place of Jessica Naz.
Your team to take on Brighton! pic.twitter.com/ecnlLDI5YZ— Tottenham Hotspur Women (@SpursWomen) October 10, 2021
Before the match, both teams, their coaching staffs, and match officials gathered in a circle at center pitch for a minute’s silence in solidarity with NWSL players and the ongoing sexual abuse scandal still emerging within in USA women’s soccer.
3’ — Rachel Williams shown a yellow card for a tough challenge in midfield.
5’ — Brighton have the first shot on target, but it’s from distance and easily collected by Becky Spencer.
12’ — Ubogagu flashes a ball across the face of Brighton’s goal towards the back post but there’s nobody there to tap it in. Good idea.
18’ — Decent sequence for Spurs. Ubogagu chips a short cross towards Kit Graham that’s headed out for a corner. On the ensuing corner, Neville gets a head to the ball in but it flies wide.
19’ — Spurs’ best chance! Ubogagu set up Neville beautifully for a long shot just outside the top of the box, and it forces a low save from Brighton’s keeper.
32’ — Double save by Becky Spencer! Brighton have two cracks at it, first from long range that Spencer parries away, then again on the rebound from point blank that she smothers. Fantastic keeping.
34’ — Brighton’s best chance of the match on a break but Inessa Kagmaan’s shot plonks off the crossbar and out for a goal kick. Whew.
37’ — Goal to Brighton. Lee Geum-Min blasts a ball from just inside the box. Spencer was right there but it goes through her hands and in. 1-0 to the hosts.
45’ — Graham blasts a long ball that whistles just wide of the left post. Not far away, though a low xG shot.
Halftime sub for Spurs as Cho So-Hyun comes on for Maeva Clemaron.
55’ — Nifty bit of skill from Kit Graham who takes a turn on the sidelines and drives up the pitch into space. Fires a cross into the box but it’s blocked out for a corner.
56’ — Sub for Spurs, Angela Addison is on for Rosella Ayane, who was mostly invisible today.
63’ — Oof, nearly a second for Brighton, but Danielle Carter hits the crossbar and it bounces back out.
70’ — Handball called against Brighton’s Conolly just outside of the box and she gets shown a yellow card. Free kick for Spurs is cleared.
74’ — Double sub for Spurs: Tang Jiali is on for Ubogagu, while Asmita Ale comes on for Kerrys Harrop.
75’ — Oh no! Rachel Williams is shown a second yellow card for a midfield challenge and she’s sent off! Spurs are down to 10.
79’ — Spurs going for broke and pushing forward for an equalizer. Some nice play in and around Brighton’s box results in a free kick that’s off the wall and cleared.
86’ — Goal to Brighton. Victoria Williams seals a Brighton win off a corner.
87’ — GOAL! KIT GRAHAM PULLS ONE BACK! Brilliant individual goal from Kit to give Spurs a (slim) chance!
90+1 — Spurs pushing forward for an equalizer and have a couple of chances in and around Brighton’s box, but aren’t able to get good looks.
FULL TIME — A frustrating afternoon for Spurs Women who drop their first match of the season. Final score: Brighton wins 2-1.
- Becky Spencer has been rock-solid in goal for Spurs all season long, but the goal was her mistake — she had the shot well covered and it just slipped right through her hands. That set the tone for the entire match.
- While Spurs didn’t play well, prior to the goal the match felt even, but Spurs played on their back heels until they went for broke down a player late in the second half.
- The second yellow card on Williams was SUPER soft, and I’d argue a bad call. It was a coming together, but there didn’t look to be very much in it. A harsh decision, in my opinion.
- Credit to Brighton who played very well today at home. They were a difficult team to break down, and Spurs didn’t find it as easy to create scoring opportunities as they had in past matches. Brighton also plonked a couple of shots off the crossbar and looked good for their win.
- A disappointing day for Spurs’ attackers. Ayane really didn’t get going at all and was hooked midway through the second half. Addison showed some brief sparks off the bench, and Kit Graham was solid again. Strangely, Spurs played some of their best football after Rachel Williams was sent off and they rolled the dice.
- Skinner opted to take off defensive destroyer Maeva Clemaron at halftime for Cho So-hyun for a little offensive oomph but strangely Spurs didn’t play through Cho that much, instead trying to advance the ball through the flanks or from deep.
- The loss drops Spurs down to third, tied with Chelsea on points and two points ahead of United whom Spurs play at home next on November 7. Brighton, meanwhile, jump up to fifth with nine points and they look like a team that might be in the conversation for top five.
- Up next for Tottenham: an FA Cup match vs. Charlton on October 17.