Brighton & Hove Albion recorded their first-ever Barclays FA Women’s Super League win over Tottenham Hotspur, beating Rehanne Skinner’s side 2-0 at The People’s Pension Stadium this afternoon.
The victory also saw Albion record three consecutive wins in the top flight for the first time since they were awarded Tier One status.
The Seagulls were the form side coming into the game and manager Hope Powell made only one change to the side that beat West Ham United last time out. Spurs were forced into a late change to their starting line-up for the second week in a row as Siri Worm replaced Kerys Harrop at left-back. Other than that, the North Londoners were unchanged from the side that lost to Everton.
Brighton & Hove Albion looked brightest in the opening minutes but the first half was a largely even affair. Aurora Mikalsen in the Spurs goal was forced to make a good save from an Emma Koivisto shot after 20 minutes before Angela Addison should have put the visitors ahead. Some good link-up play between Rosella Ayane and Alanna Kennedy on the edge of the Brighton & Hove Albion penalty area resulted in a low cross being played to Addison coming in on the far post but Megan Walsh got her body in the way to deny Spurs. Graham was then required to produce a goal-line clearance to keep her side on level terms.
It was a physical encounter with a number of stoppages for injuries but after four added minutes at the end of the first half, the sides went in at 0-0.
The second half started as the first had ended, with both sides unafraid to get involved in tackles. Shelina Zadorsky had a great chance for Spurs on the hour but she was unable to convert. A couple of minutes later, Brighton & Hove Albion took the lead with Inessa Kaagman finding herself in acres of space inside the Spurs area. Abbie McManus had been drawn out to the left just moments earlier and Dutch International Kaagman received the ball from Ellie Brazil and fired home to make it 1-0.
A few minutes later, Albion doubled their lead. Spurs failed to clear the ball from their area and it fell to Kaagman again who made no mistake from close range. Following the second goal, the game opened up and Spurs were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet with Graham hitting the crossbar and Ria Percival heading over. Playing with one up front, they didn’t trouble the Brighton & Hove Albion defence enough which has too often been the case this season when playing in this formation.
Brighton & Hove Albion seem to have hit their stride and look a different side from the one that lost the reverse fixture, closing down players and making life difficult for Spurs. Their relegation worries look to be behind them now as they climb the table with their next game away at Aston Villa.
As for Spurs their worries continue, not least with the number of injuries growing. Kennedy is the latest casualty with the player having been taken off in the second half after taking a couple of knocks during the game. Spurs certainly miss Ashleigh Neville at right-back and they will be hoping that she, Jess Naz, Becky Spencer and Cho So-hyun amongst others will be back sooner rather than later. Spurs travel to Reading next weekend as they look to get back on track after their run of losses.