Report: Kaagman on target but Albion lose to Spurs

Dutch midfielder scores from the spot but Hope Powell's team lose 3-1 to Tottenham in the WSL.

By Bruce Talbot • 06 December 2020

By Kyle Hemsley
Inessa Kaagman is congratulated after equalising against Spurs.

Inessa Kaagman scored her second goal of the season but it wasn’t enough to prevent Albion from slipping to a 3-1 defeat in Sunday’s WSL game against Spurs at The Hive. 

Kaagman levelled from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute after Kerys Harrop put Tottenham into an early lead direct from a free kick.

A fine solo goal by Angela Addison restored the hosts’ lead on 63 minutes and Alex Morgan sealed victory from the spot after a push by Victoria Williams six minutes from time.

There wasn’t much between the teams and Kaagman was desperately close to a second equaliser when she hit the bar from 30 yards, but Spurs offered more of a cutting edge up front. 

By Kyle Hemsley
Denise O'Sullivan breaks forward.

Albion made two changes to the side which won at West Ham three weeks ago with Megan Walsh returning in goal and Williams restored to the heart of their defence after recovering from a knee injury. It meant Dani Bowman moved into her more familiar midfield position.

Spurs, seeking their first win of the season under new manager Rehanne Skinner, got the ideal start with a goal after 11 minutes. Albion conceded a free kick on the right-hand side of the box and defender Harrop swept it over Walsh and inside the far post.

The home side played with plenty of confidence after the goal. They pressed effectively and it was difficult for Albion to find any momentum. Rosella Ayane fired wide of the near post after the hosts broke quickly before Morgan headed just over from a corner.

By Kyle Hemsley
Rianna Jarrett hurdles a tackle.

But the Seagulls were level in the 33rd minute when Alanna Kennedy was penalised for a high boot on Whelan in the box and Kaagman swept the penalty past Rebecca Spencer inside the right-hand post.

Walsh made two good saves before the break to frustrate Spurs after Albion needlessly gave the ball away when she blocked Morgan’s shot with her right leg before smothering the ball at the feet of Ria Percival after she had broken clear.

Both sides upped the tempo at the start of the second half without creating much and with an hour played Hope Powell made her first change when Ellie Brazil made her long-awaited return after 13 months out, during which time she had two knee operations.

By Kyle Hemsley
Victoria Williams ranks ninth for tackles made in the WSL's first ten years.

She slotted in on the left but it was the hosts who had even more to celebrate. A crossfield diagonal ball found Addison just inside Albion’s half and she rode two challenges, side-stepped Walsh and then slotted into an empty net to restore Spurs’ lead on 63 minutes.

The visitors nearly responded five minutes later when Kaagman was desperately unlucky with a rising shot from 30 yards which rattled the crossbar with home keeper Rebecca Spencer beaten.

Geum-Min Lee and Rebekah Stott came on for the last 14 minutes but Albion fell further behind with six minutes to go when Williams pushed Ria Percival in the box for a penalty which Morgan drilled down the middle to make it 3-1.

A disappointing afternoon but Albion now have two successive home games before Christmas against Chelsea and Reading to look forward to. 

Albion: Walsh, Le Tissier, Williams, Kerkdijk, Gibbons (Stott 76), Whelan (Lee 76), O’Sullivan, Bowman, Green, Kaagman, Jarrett. Subs: Fiskerstrand, Barton, Simpkins, Heroum.