Matchday 5: Brighton vs Tottenam.

Tottenham travelled to the Broadfield Stadium to take on 10th-placed Brighton and Hove. Tottenham welcomed Kerys Harrop back into the squad after an injury had kept out the veteran. Both teams were looking to bounce back after defeats last weekend

Lineups.

Brighton 4-4-1-1: Walsh in goal, Green in a right-back with Williams and Kulberg in the centre of defence with Pattinson in at left-back. The Brighton Midfield was made of Robinson down the right, Bance and Olme in the centre of midfield with Sarri down the left. Min and Terland were up front for the seagulls.

Tottenham 3-4-3: Korpela in goal, Turner, Batrip and Zadorsky made up the back three for Tottenham. Ale and Neville were wing-backs while James and Summanen were in the centre of midfield. The Tottenham front three was made of Bizet down the right, Spence down the left and Karczewska in the number 9 position.

First half.

Tottenham started brightly winning a corner in the first 30 seconds, Tottenham then won a second corner which James took short finding Bartrip who unleashed a rocket from distance looping the ball over Walsh to give Tottenham the lead within the first minute. Brighton came back straight at Tottenham looking for an equaliser as Terland and Sarri came close with half chances. Play stopped in the 9th minute when Batrtip and Green clashed and needed medical attention. Brighton continued to come at Tottenham and came close in the 13th minute when Olme won a ball in midfield before unleashing a shot from distance but Korpela got down well to make the save. Two minutes later the hosts came close again this time Terland shooting from distance but Korpela made a good save to keep it 1-0 for Tottenham.

Tottenham doubled their lead in the 18th minute against the run of play when Walsh mis-controlled a back pass and Karczewska pounced stealing the ball and slotted into an empty net. Tottenham came close to getting a third in the 25th minute when Spence stole a ball in midfield before shooting from distance but couldn’t curl her shot enough as the ball sailed just wide of Walsh’s left-hand post. Tottenham got their third in the 28th minute when a Tottenham corner was touched by Summanen whose header found Neville who volleyed into Walsh’s left-hand corner to make it three for Spurs. 

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

Tottenham continued to dominate possession as Brighton Struggled to cause Tottenham any problems. Brighton did come close in the 37th minute when a Terland strike was well saved by Korpela as the hosts searched for a way back into the game. Tottenham almost got a fourth goal in the 44th minute when a Turner cross was left by Spence and hit by Neville but Walsh made a good save to deny Tottenham. The fourth official indicated a minimum of 5 minutes added time and Tottenham got a fourth in the 46th minute. A Summanen’s ball was backheeled by Neville into the path of Spence who twisted her way into the Brighton box before firing past Walsh. Tottenham could have had a fifth two minutes later when Neville latched onto a loose ball and shot from distance but Walsh made a fine save to deny Neville before the referee brought the half to an end.

Second half.

Tottenham started the second half making two changes with Naz and Cho coming on for Summanen and Karczewska, Brighton also made a change with Carter coming on for Bance. Tottenham started the second half as they finished the first. James came close with a half volley but her effort was central and saved well by Walsh. Brighton came close in the 52nd minute when an Olme shot was blocked and deflected out by Cho for a Brighton corner. Tottenham got their fifth of the game in the 55th minute when Bizet ran the right wing and centred into the Brighton box, Walsh failed to collect the ball as Neville headed in the cross. Tottenham got themselves a 6th in the 59th minute when Naz found Neville with a pass who burst into the Brighton box before pulling back to Spence who slotted past Walsh for her second of the game.

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

Tottenham found themselves seven up right from the restart when Naz intercepted a poor pass and shot from distance, looping her effort over Walsh for Tottenham’s seventh. Williams won Brighton a free-kick on the edge of the Tottenham box in the 75th minute when she was brought down by Naz. The Brighton free-kick was straight at Korpela as Brighton began to look more lively. Brighton had a half chance in the 77th minute when Carter’s shot was blocked but fell to Terland who shot from inside the Tottenham box but her effort was blocked well for a corner. Williams found herself in the Tottenham box in the 77th minute as the ball bounced around the Tottenham box before Williams scooped her shot but Korpela saved easily.

Tottenham found themselves eight up in the 82nd minute when Ale’s throw-in found Naz, Cho stole the ball from Williams before playing the ball back to Naz who put the ball past Walsh. Brighton kept pushing forward looking for a goal and came close in the 89th minute when Terland countered for Brighton before playing through Carter who shot inside the Tottenham box, but her effort was blocked by Zadorsky for a corner. The fourth official indicated a minimum of three minutes of added time. Tottenham came close to a ninth in the 92nd minute when Ayane had a shot cleared off the line before the referee brought the game to an end.

Player of the match.

Every player deserved this as they all played out of their skin, but after careful consideration, my Tottenham player of the match goes to Ash Neville. Neville set up two goals and scored two and could have easily had more. 

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

Post match analysis.

What a performance from our Lilywhites, one has to feel for Brighton as they played well in the opening 20 minutes and had their chances but errors cost Brighton dearly. Tottenham was lucky with a few goals as a usually solid Brighton fell apart. We have seen Tottenham in that situation many times but it was good to see Tottenham had some good fortune for once. Every Tottenham player played out of their skin and it was great to see Gracie Pearse get just over 20 minutes of playing time. There is something very special about this player and I really enjoyed finally seeing her get some playing time and can not wait to see her play more for Tottenham. 

Tottenham gave a heck of a performance against a solid team but despite some good fortune, showed what they are capable of and if they play that way weekly, will be able to compete with the top three. Tottenham’s victory puts them up to 6th in the table with next week’s opposition (Everton) sitting in 7th place. The players and fans must enjoy this victory but we must not get carried away, Brighton is not as bad as they seemed in this match and next week’s match-up with Everton will no doubt be another physical battle for our Lilywhites. 

With luck this performance has given the team some much-needed confidence ahead of next week’s match, the season is long and slowly players are returning from injury but after today’s performance, many teams will no doubt fear our Lilywhites. Coach Skinner was spot on with her team selection today and the return of Harrop will make Tottenham more solid at back as Ale seems vulnerable at times especially as we have seen against the heavyweights. I would have liked to see Karczewska, Neville and Summanen remain in the game, but with such a huge goal advantage I understand that these players must be protected. Tottenham returns to Brisbane Road in 6 days’ time where they will battle it out for another three points, COME ON YOU SPURS!!

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