Neville shines against Leicester to end historic season for Spurs Women

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Spurs Women ended an historic season the way it started – with a 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

With a chance to cement fifth place and a best-ever finish in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, we didn’t disappoint, Ashleigh Neville bagging the decisive goal against Leicester City four minutes into the second half in front of a bumper crowd at our N17 home.

The visitors, already consigned to a bottom two finish, did threaten late on with a series of set-pieces into our box, but we dealt with them well and never looked in any real danger of losing our grip on the game. It all amounted to a fine end to the season for Rehanne Skinner and the players, who have made terrific progress since beating Birmingham City on the opening day by the same scoreline at the same venue.

Amid a fantastic atmosphere in the north London sunshine, we put the pressure on from the outset and forced Leicester back, our best chance falling to the superb Neville, who surged through one-on-one against goalkeeper Demi Lambourne, only to be denied by a fine block from the advancing stopper. Lambourne was kept busy for much of the opening half-hour as the likes of Rachel Williams and Neville slid some excellent passes in behind the visitors’ high defensive line, but we were unable to capitalise and at the other end, Missy Goodwin fired over the bar from the left angle in a rare chance for her side.

Eveliina Summanen shot wide from distance while Neville tried to catch Lambourne out with a fizzing shot that arrowed towards the top corner at the near post, but again it was just off-target as the 20-minute mark came and went. Rosella Ayane later had a penalty appeal waved away after going to ground in the box under Sophie Howard’s challenge with Kerys Harrop almost firing us ahead in stunning fashion three minutes before the break, only for her 35-yard strike to glance off the post.

The breakthrough finally arrived in the 49th minute and it was deserved on the balance of play as Jess Naz sent a perfectly-weighted cross into the box from the right and Neville was there to challenge in the air and nod it home. The full-back nearly had a second a few minutes later, but her sharp shot-on-the-turn flew just over.

Leicester began to push forward more in the closing stages and we needed good blocks in the box from Molly Bartrip and substitute Josie Green to deny Ava Baker and Natasha Flint in quick succession, with the lively Baker shooting across the face of goal and wide from the left angle moments later. The visitors won a series of free-kicks during the last 10 minutes but we always got the first header on any aerial deliveries to keep everything under control, with Neville going close for us one more time in the 88th minute, only for her low shot to go straight at Lambourne after a dazzling solo run to the edge of the area.

(official page)

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