Tottenham Hotspur Women tried to stop a six match stretch with no wins today at home against bottom-of-the-league Bristol City Women. Spurs looked good for large stretches of the match and went ahead after just two minutes thanks to a gorgeous free kick goal from Siri Worm. However, despite numerous opportunities to increase their lead, they couldn’t get another past Bristol’s keeper. Bristol equalized through their captain, Gemma Hayes, in the second half and the final score ended a disappointing 1-1 draw.
The big news with regards to the lineup was the return of Becky Spencer in goal! Becky missed the past month or so with an undisclosed injury, and while Aurora Mikalsen was... capable as her backup, Spencer is one of the better keepers in the WSL. It’s a pretty big development.
Elsewhere, Rianna Dean, who has struggled this season, returned to the starting lineup at striker. London Awards Young Player of the Year candidate Angela Addison retained her place in the band just behind Dean along with Kit Graham and Rosella Ayane.
1’ — Early chance for Bristol. Alanna Kennedy coughs up the ball in midfield, and Bristol counters quickly through Ebony Salmon. Becky Spencer there to smother the chance.
3’ — GOAL! SIRI WORM! Free kick to Spurs just outside the box after Dean got fouled, and Siri stepped up to take it. She rifled a beauty over the wall and into the top corner! 1-0 Spurs!
16’ — Chance to Spurs! A good cross into the box from the left side, Bristol keeper Baggaley tips the ball into the path of Rianna Dean, but she can’t connect cleanly and pokes it over the bar.
23’ — Spurs are pinning Bristol back here in the first half. Another powerful blast, this time from Kit Graham, that goes wide. But Spurs are getting chances.
27’ — Yellow on Worm for a hard challenge just outside Bristol’s box.
31’ — Close by Kit Graham! Lovely move to dart inside and fire a low shot that goes juuuuuuust wide of the right post. Might have grazed the woodwork.
42’ — Cleared off the line! Siri Worm puts in a free kick that pings around a bit, but Bristol manage to hook it clear and out for a corner. Spurs really pushing for a second.
HALFTIME! Super encouraging half from Spurs, and they’re deservedly in front at the break thanks to Siri Worm’s free kick.
48’ — Whoof, Bristol City klangs one off the post. Ebony Salmon hits a cleared corner on the volley and it goes off the woodwork. That’s how quickly things can go sideways. Spurs need another goal.
52’ — Goal to Bristol City. Gemma Evans, their captain, heads it past Spencer off a corner. Ugh.
58’ — This is night and day. Bristol have looked like the better side in the second half; Salmon nearly puts them ahead when she gets 1v1 going forward, but Zadorsky does just enough to poke the ball out for a corner.
63’ — Double sub for Spurs — Addison and Dean are off, Rachel Williams and Gemma Davison are on. Looks like like for like.
68’ — So close from Spurs! Gemma Davison with a ROCKET of a shot that forces a diving stop from Baggaley to keep it out. Fantastic save.
73’ — Ugh, Rachel Williams had a player wide open for a square pass on a counter attack, but she opts to shoot instead and puts it in Row Z.
78’ — Another double sub for Spurs: Kit Graham is off for Cho So-hyun. Also, Lucy Quinn comes on for Ayane.
82’ — Yellow card for Cho who I guess put a foot in on her defender after making a pass? Not super clear what happened there.
86’ — Ugh, another Spurs chance. Worm with a ball to the back post and Williams’ close range header saved by Baggaley. Bristol clear the ball off the line again in the ensuing play.
88’ — Yellow card on Ria Percival. Announcer says it’s for “persistent fouling,” which… probably right.
FULL TIME — Spurs can’t get it done, despite numerous chances going forward. Points are shared, final score 1-1.
- First, the good: that first half was about as good I’ve seen Spurs play all season. They were pressing high, creating good chances. They just weren’t clinical, which has been the story all season. This is a major area of concern for the offseason.
- Siri Worm is a really, really good dead ball specialist and she showed that again today. Solid defensively, too.
- Cho So-Hyun had a yellow card and another foul go against her that looked like absolutely terrible calls from the official. Not sure what was going on there. I’d like to see more from her; my guess is that she’s just back from injury and may get more time later.
- I was screaming at Rachel Williams to “SQUARE SQUARE SQUARE” on that fast break. She had Gemma Davison wide open and a simple pass would’ve been an open look at goal, but she didn’t pick up her head and skied a shot instead.
- These are the matches you have to win, and Spurs once again just couldn’t get it done. They’ve drawn their last two, but you could also say they’re winless in their last seven matches. They have to find a way to score goals and win games, or relegation won’t be off the table.
- Next match is the North London Derby this coming weekend, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, followed by a home match against Manchester City. Two huge opportunities, but also huge challenges. Hate to say it, but I’m not optimistic.