Pre-season is finally over and the opening weekend of the Super League looms large.
There have been a lot of positives for Tottenham Hotspur Women, the biggest of which was the 2-1 victory at West Ham United yesterday.
A thrashing by Arsenal last week was by no means unexpected and at this stage of their progression Spurs will not be at the same level as the clubs at the top who have been there for much longer.
What Spurs need to be doing is keeping competitive with the rest of the league, teams like Sunday’s opponents West Ham United.
Spurs were without their trio of Welsh dragons, the injured Jess Naz, Chloe Peplow and Rianna Dean who has been injured for much of pre-season. It was a fairly even game throughout with both teams having spells of possession and Karen Hill’s side might have been behind earlier but for some crucial interventions from Ashleigh Neville, playing at right-back.
West Ham United were the first to make their possession count when Martha Thomas broke through the Spurs defence and fired a shot beyond the reach of Chloe Morgan.
Spurs looked cautious in attack and caused West Ham United little trouble in the final third during the first half.
The second half again saw both teams enjoy a share of the possession but Spurs started to use the wings more effectively and cause some problems in the box.
The hosts were lucky not to concede a penalty with their substitute keeper Courtney Brosnan bringing down Lucy Quinn in the area. The Hammers had some chances to extend their lead but were denied by Spurs keeper Morgan who made a number of excellent saves.
In the 81st minute, substitute Angela Addison made one of her runs down the left wing and crossed the ball into the box, it fell to Quinn who stabbed it home from short range.
Seven minutes later, some good work down the other wing, this time from Neville, saw the ball fall to Lucia Leon who also slotted home at close range.
It was a fine result for this Spurs side who are still getting to know each other after a busy transfer window. There is still work to be done, notably in central midfield where the loss of Emma Beckett, who chose not to go professional, can really be felt. Coming back from a goal down, however, in this first serious test of what is to come showed great resilience and will have been an important boost to confidence levels before their league opener at Stamford Bridge.
It won’t be long before West Ham United will have a chance for revenge as the two sides meet twice in the next two months, the first of which will be at the London Stadium in September.