Charlie Devlin

Spurs Women Take The Points On Filbert Way

LCFC Women slipped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur Women on Sunday afternoon.

Some 2,157 supporters were in attendance for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture at King Power Stadium, but it was the visitors who claimed victory thanks to a goal in each half.

Four changes were made to the side that played Manchester City in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup in midweek, including a return for goalkeeper Kirstie Levell.

The Foxes stuck with a 4-4-2 formation, with Esmee De Graaf and Hannah Cain as the wide options and Shannon O’Brien moving up alongside Jess Sigsworth in attack.

When Kit Graham took the ball down inside the area 10 minutes in there was danger for the home side until Abbie McManus made an important block, before Ria Percival dragged the resulting shot wide.

Former Fox Rachel Williams was the latest Spurs player to test the home side’s defensive capabilities, heading a Ashleigh Neville cross into the arms of Levell and City’s ‘keeper had to be alert again to rush out and claim the ball when Graham played a neat ball through to Percival.

At the other end, Jemma Purfield’s looping cross was met by De Graaf, who couldn’t get a strong enough connection on the ball to send it towards goal. A sustained period of Foxes pressure followed, but without any clear-cut opportunities being created, and soon Tottenham were back on top.

The increasingly busy Levell made a diving stop to keep out Neville’s header from a Percival corner and then, when the ball dropped to Williams inside the box, she had time and space to pick her spot, but managed to slice the ball high and wide of goal.

Yet another brilliant save from Levell soon after denied Chioma Ubogagu, whose curling shot was heading into the net, and from the resulting corner, Spurs went ahead. The Foxes failed to clear their lines and Williams was on hand to fire the ball home against her former team on 38 minutes.

Leicester could have trailed by more at the break if it wasn’t for Levell’s heroics, making an unbelievable save to flick Percival’s effort onto the roof of the net from Graham’s corner.

The hosts started the second half brightly and when Purfield’s free-kick fell to McManus at the back post, there was a chance of an opening, but she was unable to get a clean shot away.

The lively Percival remained involved, however, forcing former Everton ‘keeper Levell into a close-range save, and then again from Maeva Clemaron, before a third shot was blocked.

City started to crank up the pressure as Ashleigh Plumptre met the latest Purfield free-kick, but couldn’t direct it on target, before a carbon copy set piece involving the same two players led to Becky Spencer being called into action, tipping the ball round the post.

Spurs’ opportunities were largely limited in the second half as they tried to hold their slender advantage, though Percival sent a long-range strike whistling narrowly past the post with 20 minutes to play in a sign of the visitors’ attacking qualities.

An even closer effort from Spurs forward Graham might have found the net, but again it was wide of the target, ahead of her corner landing at Williams’ feet, only for Levell to get a hand on her shot before substitute Natasha Flint cleared it off the line.

Meanwhile, the hosts continued to search for the equaliser as Plumptre’s looping cross was met by Flint - who rose highest - but headed narrowly wide of the far post.

Then, with two minutes to play, Tottenham hit on the counter and scored the decisive second goal. After netting the opener, Williams turned provider, playing the ball across to Angela Addison to slot it past Levell and wrap up three points for the away side.

Major moment… 

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Jess Sigsworth
Jess Sigsworth

Forward Jess Sigsworth looked to create an opening during the second half.

At 1-0, City were always in the game and looking increasingly dangerous during the second half. But as they pushed more bodies forward, it left gaps at the back, leading to Spurs’ second goal late on.

Who impressed?

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Kirstie Levell
Kirstie Levell

Shot-stopper Kirstie Levell returned to the side after missing the midweek meeting with Manchester City.

Although it wasn’t enough to help her side take anything from the game, the returning Kirstie Levell, back in the starting XI after injury, made a host of impressive saves throughout the contest.

Where does it leave us?

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Abbie McManus
Abbie McManus

Abbie McManus captained the side in the absence of Sophie Barker.

The Foxes are 10th in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table after four games, with Reading and Birmingham City also yet to get off the mark this term.

Coming up…

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LCFC Women
LCFC Women

The Foxes must now regroup and go again next week.

LCFC Women travel to Kingsmeadow to meet Barclays FA Women’s Super League champions Chelsea on Sunday 10 October (12:30pm kick-off).

The details…

City: Levell; Brougham, McManus (c), Plumptre, Purfield; Cain (Flint 63’), Pike (Devlin 63’), Tierney, De Graaf (Bailey-Gayle 63’); O’Brien, Sigsworth.

Subs not used: Lambourne, Howard, Zajmi, Camwell, Robinson.

All times BST.

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