Spurs Women continued their perfect start to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League season as goals from Rachel Williams and substitute Angela Addison secured the points against Leicester City Women at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
With victories already in the bag against Birmingham City, Manchester City and Reading, we made it four wins from four in the division with a fully-deserved 2-0 victory against the Foxes.
We were well on top throughout the first half and had created a host of chances before Williams latched onto a loose ball and fired home the opener on 38 minutes – her third goal in four games in all competitions and a poignant one against her first club. And, while the hosts came into the match more in the second half, we continued to have the better chances and wrapped up the win two minutes from time with Addison putting the finishing touch to a swift counter-attack.
Also up against her former club, Head Coach Rehanne Skinner made three changes from the side which was knocked out of the Women’s FA Cup to Arsenal in midweek, Josie Green, Jiali Tang and Asmita Ale being replaced by Ashleigh Neville, Kerys Harrop and Jess Naz.
It was such a dominant first half at the King Power that we wondered if we would be made to pay for the opportunities that went begging, but thankfully that never happened as our perseverance paid off and our professional performance kept Leicester at bay. Only 10 minutes had gone when Williams nodded down to Kit Graham whose shot was blocked and the rebound fell to Ria Percival on the edge of the area but her effort drifted wide. And just moments later, Graham threaded a pass between the Leicester centre-halves, Chioma Ubogagu just got a toe on the ball but City goalkeeper Kirstie Levell was out quickly to smother.
Neville’s header from 12 yards on 31 minutes was heading for the bottom corner only for Levell to make a fine diving save and she also produced a smart stop to tip away Ubogagu’s curling right foot shot soon after. The breakthrough finally came from a Graham corner which Levell this time failed to deal with, Neville couldn’t get a shot away but the ball fell to Williams who drilled home.
There was no let-up in our attacking play though and we could have doubled our lead before the break, Williams darting into acres of space to meet Graham’s corner but she was thwarted by the goalkeeper, before Graham headed over in stoppage time.
It was a similar story after the interval as we kept up the pressure and Levell was performing heroics in the home goal. Percival’s shot from eight yards was saved by Levell, who was up quickly to deny Ubogagu from the rebound before Williams’ effort was blocked. But Leicester started to have more of the ball in attacking areas as they searched for an equaliser and their first point of the league season. Just before the hour mark, Ashleigh Plumptre just couldn’t connect with a deep free-kick from Jemma Purfield and a bit later, another set-piece from Purfield was again aimed at Plumptre but this one came off the head of Molly Bartrip and hit the outside of the post for a corner.
Back we came though, Percival firing just wide from 30 yards before Graham played a one-two with Maeva Clemaron but couldn’t find the target and Williams saw a header well saved by Levell. But, for all our possession and with Becky Spencer barely having a save to make all game, the hosts almost snatched a goal with five minutes remaining when Natasha Flint got on the end of Plumptre’s cross but her header looped just wide.
Having survived that scare, we eventually wrapped up the win in the 88th minute with a devastating counter-attack. Substitute Rosella Ayane led the charge, she found Williams who could have got a shot away but instead played a clever square pass to Addison, completely unmarked, and she slotted home to put the seal on a fine victory.