Alex Morgan came off the bench to make her Tottenham Hotspur debut as Karen Hills and Juan Amoros’ side drew 1-1 with Reading at The Hive this afternoon.
Both Spurs and Reading went into the match looking to put midweek defeats behind them and get more points on the board in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League. Each side made one change to those losing midweek teams as Alanna Kennedy came in for Spurs and Brooke Chaplen joined the Reading attack.
The early exchanges were fairly even but it didn’t take Reading long to take the lead. Jess Fishlock received the ball in the centre of the field and spotted the run of Emma Mitchell on the left wing. Fishlock played a defence-splitting pass down to Mitchell who crossed into the box to find Chaplen who turned the ball into the Spurs net.
Reading held their lead until the 25th minute when Siri Worm’s corner was eventually headed home by Ashleigh Neville, the ball having fallen to Kerys Harrop and Josie Green before reaching the full-back. After that goal, the game proceeded much as it had, with a number of crunching tackles from both sides but neither goalkeeper really troubled.
In the second half, Spurs made four separate changes, the third of which was the one everyone had been waiting for as Morgan finally stepped onto the pitch for the final 20 minutes. She told Spurs TV after the game that she is looking forward to playing more minutes in the next game, especially given the back and forth nature of the end of the game with both teams pressing for a winner. This has been a mark of most of Spurs’ games this season with good discipline and shape being lost with changes in the second half.
Reading had a couple of good chances in the dying minutes of the game but in the end, a draw was a fair result for two teams hoping to improve on their current form. Morgan’s debut was, perhaps predictably, somewhat underwhelming, with no fans in the stadium to get excited. Reading manager Kelly Chambers said after the game that she didn’t even realise Morgan had come on to begin with. The dreams of a debut winner did not materialise but there is no doubt, more to come with Amoros hopeful that she will stay in North London into the New Year.
Next weekend, Reading travel to Everton in what will no doubt be another tough game while Spurs travel to Bristol City and will be hoping to pick up their first win of the season.