Report: Albion edged out by Spurs after red card

Brought to you by...

Albion can consider themselves unfortunate after they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

By Bruce Talbot • 23 February 2020

By Kyle Hemsley
Emily Simpkins and Danique Kerkdijk look to stop Lucia Leon.
  • Albion are beaten 1-0 by Tottenham in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League
  • Seagulls suffer first defeat in four to Rianna Dean’s second-half penalty
  • Lea Le Garrec sent off in the first half after picking up two yellow cards
  • Hope Powell’s team are back in action on Tuesday at Crystal Palace in the FA Cup

The Seagulls had to play for more than an hour with ten players after Lea Le Garrec was sent off for two bookings and they conceded what turned out to be the winner midway through the second half when Rianna Dean scored from the spot after Kirsty Barton tripped Angela Addison.

Albion struggled to create clear-cut chances in a stop-start game littered with stoppages, but top scorer Aileen Whelan twice went close and substitute Ini Umotong hit the top of the crossbar with a cross-shot in the second half.

Emily Simpkins in action against Tottenham.

Hope Powell had to make two changes with Fliss Gibbons and Megan Connolly dropping out through injury. Victoria Williams and Emily Simpkins came in with January signing Rianna Jarrett on the bench for the first time in the WSL.

Albion had a strong penalty claim for a foul on Simpkins turned down inside the first 30 seconds and began brightly before Spurs threatened but shots by Ria Percival and Rianna Dean from the edge of the box were both off target.

A sticky pitch didn’t help either side’s attempts at passing football but Albion continued to look threatening. Kayleigh Green’s persistence set up an opportunity for Whelan which she clipped wide then Le Garrec’s cross was headed over her own bar by Hannah Godfrey.

By Kyle Hemsley
Maya Le Tissier gave another composed performance in defence.

But Albion were left with a big problem in the 32nd minute when Le Garrec, who had been booked earlier for not retreating at a free kick, was sent off after fouling Gemma Davison, leaving the Seagulls to play with ten players for the last hour.

Umotong replaced Amanda Nilden at the break and Albion settled into a 4-4-1 formation for the second half.

Tottenham began the second period with a good spell of possession but apart from Addison’s strike from 30 yards which she dealt with confidently, Megan Walsh had little to do as Albion continued to defend resolutely with skipper Dani Bowman winning plenty of 50-50 balls.

By Kyle Hemsley
Albion captain Dani Bowman.

It was hard to see where a goal was coming from until Barton tripped Addison just inside the box in the 67th minute and referee Louise Saunders pointed immediately to the spot. Striker Dean gave Walsh no chance with her penalty driven into the bottom corner.

It was harsh on Albion given their contribution and they nearly equalised eight minutes later. Bowman’s free kick was flicked on by Umotong but Whelan’s effort from a tight angle went the wrong side of the upright. Bowman then found Green and her right-wing cross drifted onto the top of the crossbar with Spurs’ keeper Rebecca Spencer struggling.

Amanda Nilden battles for possession with Ria Percival.

Walsh saved well with her legs after a loose clearance allowed Kit Graham to get a shot away and in the closing stages Albion pushed more players forward in search of reward but Tottenham held on to complete the double over their hosts in the WSL this season.

Powell’s players must now pick themselves up and go again on Tuesday against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup with a place in the quarter-final at home to Birmingham City at stake.

ALBION: Walsh, Barton, Kerkdijk, Le Tissier, Williams, Green, Bowman, Simpkins (Natkiel 81), Nilden (Umotong 45), Whelan, Le Garrec.

SUBS NOT USED: Fiskerstrand (GK), Roe, Lundorf, Jarrett, Bennink.