Women Report: Albion suffer narrow defeat at The Hive

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After a competitive game, Albion slipped to defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at The Hive in the Barclays FA Women's Super League.

By Ciaran Wiseman • 08 December 2019

By Kyle Hemsley
Kayleigh Green takes on Ashleigh Neville.
  • Victoria Williams’s own goal proves to be the difference
  • Seagulls drop to 10th in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League
  • London City Lionesses are next up in the Continental League Cup
  • Manchester City then await in the league next weekend

Heading into the match, manager Hope Powell spoke positively about the progress that Spurs have made since gaining promotion to the top-flight, and the encounter in north London proved to be a tricky one.

Powell stuck with the same side that came so close to defeating Reading in their last WSL match last Friday, with the only change to introduce Megan Connolly to the bench following injury.

By Kyle Hemsley
Victoria Williams brings the ball out of defence.

A tight and scrappy opening to the game developed into a first half of limited chances, with both sides keen to avoid defeat and provide stability to their league form.

The first chance of the match fell to Albion when, after five minutes, Aileen Whelan was set up by Kayleigh Green, but the former’s strike was deflected wide by the hosts. 

By Kyle Hemsley
Captain Dani Bowman marshals her team from midfield.

Spurs, who were held to a 1-1 draw at Birmingham City on Wednesday, enjoyed the more open attacking moves as they broke through on goal on a handful of occasions.

However, they only once troubled Megan Walsh in the Albion goal. The shot stopper comfortably held Rachel Furness’s tame effort, though, after the on-loan Reading forward had run through on goal.

Albion did remain a threat on the counter attack, but they were unable to find the final pass and create a clear opportunity to open the scoring.

By Kyle Hemsley
Aileen Whelan is pressured by former Albion midfielder Chloe Peplow.

Neither keeper found themselves massively troubled before the interval, as the ball spent a majority of the opening 45 in the central third of the pitch.

The hosts took just five minutes to go close at the start of the second half, as Rianna Dean was denied only by an excellent last-ditch tackle by Victoria Williams, who ricocheted the ball over Walsh’s crossbar.

Spurs continued to apply pressure to the Brighton defence and they ultimately broke the deadlock in the 57th minute through an own goal by Williams. Ashleigh Neville was denied by Walsh and then Williams, but the latter inadvertently diverted the ball into her own net when attempting to clear.

The newly-promoted Lilywhites came close to a second, but for a fine double save from Walsh who first denied Furness from the edge of the box before denying Dean with the follow up.

By Kyle Hemsley
Lea Le Garrec in action against Tottenham Hotspur.

The travelling Seagulls continued to press for a leveller as the game veered towards its conclusion, but the Tottenham back line were able to deal with the string of dangerous crosses that were launched into their penalty area.

Powell’s side will have little time to reflect on the performance as they travel to London City Lionesses on Wednesday in the Continental League Cup, before facing a trip to the Academy Stadium to take on Manchester City next Sunday.

ALBION: Walsh (GK); Gibbons, Barton, Kerkdijk, Williams; Bowman (Le Tissier 73), Whelan, Natkiel (Nilden 55), Green; Umotong, Le Garrec

SUBS NOT USED: Harris (GK), Lundorf Skovsen, Connolly, Simpkins, Bance

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