Tottenham 3-1 West Ham: Super subs secure success for Spurs

Second-half substitutes Jessica Naz and Drew Spence secured Tottenham Hotspur’s first victory in the Barclays Women’s Super League since the concluding stages of March in a 3-1 success over West Ham United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

This season has been an overall success for Spurs, finishing 13 points better off than last season and improving their league position by three places, as well as reaching the Abode Women’s FA Cup final.

The quintessential question now – albeit one of many – is whether the capital-based club can secure the permanent signature of Grace Clinton on the dotted line from Manchester United during the summer.

As it happened

Without a victory in six matches across all competitions, it did not take an attack-minded Spurs side long to celebrate the game’s opening goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Leading by example, Beth England took full advantage of Mackenzie Arnold inexplicably fumbling Grace Clinton’s initial effort by expertly chesting down the ball before firing a fiercely-struck strike from Martha Thomas’ lofted delivery past the Hammers’ captain after only four minutes.

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Already in the driving seat, and firmly in first gear, the hosts should have doubled their lead in the 21st minute. However, Charlotte Grant somehow headed against the far post when it appeared the only location the ball should have ended up was the back of Arnold’s net. Despite looking likely to extend their lead with every passing attack, Robert Vilahamn’s side were left with only the one goal to showcase for their endeavours. On the other hand, the visitors never seriously called the returning Becky Spencer – following her recovery from a foot injury – into action.

However, West Ham were being taken seriously in terms of altering the scoresheet after only five minutes of the second half, as against the run of play, Riko Ueki fired a sublimely-struck strike via the assistance of the post’s paintwork into the far corner. An all-action recommencement to the game half followed immediately from the restart as England blazed her one-on-one battle with Arnold high into the stands being the goal.

England would head against the frame of the goal before pandemonium ensued in the penalty area as Hawa Cissoko nearly put through her own net as Spurs continued to bang on the door in pursuit of regaining their lead with the game now exceeding the hour mark.

Nonetheless, after never really coming out of first gear in front of goal – with substitute Olga Ahtinen and England respectively firing straight into the arms of Arnold – it was two of Vilahamn’s other alterations that secured the three points for the hosts.

First, Naz unleashed a rocket from her laces that flew past Arnold into the back of the net in the 85th minute before Spence scored the goal of the game deep into stoppage time with a stunning long-range effort fitting to conclude the 2023/24 WSL season on.

The lineups

TOT: Spencer; Neville, James-Turner, Bühler, Grant; Clinton, Summanen, Petzelberger; Ildhusøy, England, Thomas

WHU: Arnold; Denton, Cissoko, Tysiak, Smith; Shimizu, Ziu; Hayashi, Harries; Asseyi; Ueki

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