Tottenham Hotspur Women traveled to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, hoping to slide a three match skid in the WSL. Instead, while they played hard, they fell 2-0 to two Inessa Kaagman second half goals and dropped their fourth straight league match.
It’s another frustrating loss for Rehanne Skinner’s Spurs, who are now in eighth place in the table, closer now to relegation (six points) than they are to fifth place Everton (12 points). The goal of Spurs improving on their table position from their inaugural WSL season, one that was shortened by COVID-19, has taken a big hit.
Spurs, who beat Brighton 3-1 at The Hive in the reverse fixture, played the Seagulls even for much of the match but had two defensive breakdowns that led to goals for Kaagman, and also were unlucky, having a powerful header by Alanna Kennedy cleared off the line just before the first half whistle, and also hitting the woodwork three times in the second half.
Aurora Mikalsen again started for the injured Becky Spencer in goal, and Siri Worm was a late replacement in the starting lineup for Kerys Harrop, who was forced to withdraw.
5’ — Early chance for Brighton as Kaagman puts a through ball into the box for Lee, who can’t quite get to it Mikalsen gathers the ball.
13’ — Very few chances on either side of the field. Both defenses holding firm, not allowing much going forward.
22’ — Half chance for Brighton off of a cross. Scramble for a loose ball and Emma Koivisto has a shot that’s saved by Mikalsen. Lee Guem-Min then picks up a yellow card for trying to challenge Mikalsen when she tried to restart quickly.
30’ — Brighton corner leads to a botched catch from Mikalsen, but Spurs clear it off the line. Mikalsen takes an arm to the face and there’s an extended period of treatment before she’s allowed to continue.
45+2 — Alanna Kennedy has a ball headed off the line. A powerful effort, but the linesman says it didn’t cross the line. No goal line tech in the WSL so the decision is the decision.
HALFTIME — This has been a very even match, and it’s anyone’s game. One breakthrough for either side could make the difference.
50’ — More even play in the first part of the half, no clear chances for either side.
60’ — Siri Worm fires a free kick, Zadorsky plonks it off the bar, rebound falls to Graham again and she puts it wide. CLOSE.
61’ — Spurs sub, Rianna Dean on for Ayane.
63’ — Goal to Brighton. Inessa Kaagman. Header in the box falls to Kaagman wide open in the box, scores against the run of play.
64’ - Angela Addison gets treatment after Le Tissier catches her with an arm in the face. Probably not intentional.
68’ — Free kick to Spurs just outside the box after Dean is fouled by Kirkdijk; yellow to Brighton. Worm tries a curling effort at the far corner but it goes wide.
69’ — Sub Spurs. Josie Gren on for Alanna Kennedy.
72’ — Goal Brighton. Kaagman scores again. Almost identical to the first goal. Header to her, wide open in the box, smashes it in the net. 2-0.
75’ — Another great chance for Spurs off a corner, Worm hits the post, scramble for the ball, Addison scruffs it wide.
77’ — Yellow to Worm for a late challenge in midfield.
79’ — Final sub, Quinn on for Esther Morgan.
80’ — Brighton nearly make it three, hit the woodwork twice
90’ — A couple of Spurs corners, first forces a Walsh save, second doesn’t amount to anything
92’ — Graham off the bar AGAIN GAAAH
94’ — Unlucky again. A lovely little move going forward and a cross but Graham heads the chance over the bar.
FULL TIME: Brighton 2-0 Spurs Women
- I think we’re going to have to accept that this Tottenham Women team, despite being better than last season’s team, just isn’t very good. This was a winnable match, and while they were unlucky with the woodwork, they also didn’t do enough to win.
- Esther Morgan got her second WSL start in defense, but unfortunately was partially complicit in both of Kaagman’s goals. You can’t leave a player like her as wide open as she was, and both happened on Morgan’s side. She’s a young player, but she was subbed off late in the half.
- Siri Worm had an up and down match but had some lovely long balls and corners that nearly led to goals.
- Tottenham continues to struggle to put the ball into the net, but I think the bigger problem is the midfield — Alanna Kennedy has been decent as a deep lying DM, but Spurs struggle to pass the ball through the midfield. They need a Tanguy Ndombele to link defense with attack, and they don’t have anyone even remotely close to that.
- There are glimpses of talent and ability in this Spurs Women side, but they need much, much more help this summer if they’re going to be relevant in the WSL. At this point, I wouldn’t yet rule out relegation, either. I think Skinner is doing good things with this group, but she needs a significant upgrade on talent.
- 2021 Daniel Levy Allocate £1m to Spurs Women for Summer Reinforcements Challenge
- Next match is another tough one, Sunday at 8:30 a.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. GMT at Reading.