Spurs Ladies have pulled off one of the biggest achievements in their history after beating West Ham 4-0 to win the Women’s Premier League Southern Division.
Relegation-threatened West Ham had it all to play for, but that wasn’t to prove as big an incentive as for Spurs, who were playing at White Hart Lane for the first time in over a decade.
The Hammers felt their way into the game, sustaining plenty of early pressure from the hosts. Lucia Leon made a couple of bright runs down the right, but the biggest chance of the opening exchanges fell to Wendy Martin after a teasing ball into the box from captain Jenna Schillaci.
Inevitably, though, the deadlock was broken in by the 23rd minute when Josie Green’s 25-yard effort was fumbled in by West Ham goalkeeper Lottie Ivison.
It was well-deserved after Martin had hit the post moments before and gave Spurs the momentum. West Ham struggled to get the ball out of their own half for the next 10 minutes.
Leon could have made it two as Ivison parried again from a ball in from the left, though the stopper did better with the second attempt.
Ivison was quite possibly the busiest West Ham player, forced into a good save off Kelley Blanchflower who was through one-on-one.
It was more of the same in the second half, Martin putting coming close but putting a shot wide. She only had to wait 15 minutes into the second half, however, before taking a beautifully crafted goal first time, prompting ecstatic celebrations from the Spurs bench.
— Spurs Ladies (@ThlfcOfficial) April 19, 2017
Martin was fittingly at the heart of many of the Lilywhites’ attacking moves; it was her late goal against Cardiff last week that put Spurs in this position, and she’s been key to so many of their achievements this season.
It was over to substitute Nikita Whinnett to make it three. She pulled off a magnificent strike to bring more raucous scenes from Karen Hills and Juan Carlos Lopez on the touchline.
Someone at the club with either a sense of humour or a bit too much confidence was responsible for a premature rendition of ‘we are the champions’ over the speakers, but there was obviously no way back for West Ham.
Bianca Baptiste deserved a goal and she got one late on to make it 4-0 and cap a glory, glory night at the Lane.
It crowns what has been a remarkable season for Spurs Ladies, who have a cup final against Charlton to look forward to on Tuesday.