West Ham Ladies 0 Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 10

Author: . Published: at 12:16pm

This is written by Alex Shilling

A youthful West Ham side missing several key players including talismanic forward Katie Bottom were given a footballing masterclass by a rampant Spurs side yesterday.

 The Hammers, manager James Marrs admits, are still a team in transition as they adjust to the training methods and style of play that brought the former Brighton boss such success in the Women’s Premier League last season and it was evident yesterday on a warm afternoon at Ship Lane.

 Spurs, tipped by many within the women’s game as favourites for promotion to the Super League this season, dominated the game from start to finish and at times the Irons ladies struggled to make it out of their own half.

 With Aditi Chauhan seemingly not yet ready for her first appearance since re-joining the club over the summer, Marrs opted to give young goalkeeper Beth Griffiths her first appearance of the season, while Katie Bottom, Danni Ritson and Chelsea Hinz all missed out through injury.

 Although the Hammers made the early running in the opening minutes, it didn’t take long for the visitors to get on the scoresheet.

 A hurried clearance from Griffiths fell straight to Lucia Leon who comfortably tucked away her side’s first after the afternoon. The young goalkeeper’s afternoon didn’t improve when she dragged down Wendy Martin inside the box two minutes later, with full-back Eartha Ponde despatching the penalty with ease.

 Spurs were ramping the pressure up and had their third with just 10 minutes gone as a smart interchange between Riana Soobadoo and Bianca Baptise finished with a first-time strike from the latter, before a fierce effort from Nikitta Whinnett surely put the game to bed.

 West Ham striker Molly Peters was finding herself increasingly isolated up front with almost the entire game being played in her own half, but with her side four down, a smart turn on the halfway line took her away from Spurs’ skipper Schillaci only for her attempted through ball to Amy Waters to be played just a touch early as the forward was caught offside.

 Peters was once again leading the determined resistance from an increasingly beleaguered home side and got the Irons’ first shot on target, with an easy stop for Spurs’ debutant Megan Lynch.

 However, there was to be no dramatic comeback as an attempted Sam Miller tackle brought the troublesome Martin again and the Spurs striker stepped up to grab her side’s fifth with barely half an hour gone.

 Number six arrived shortly as Whinnett headed in the rebound after Leon’s effort was parried by Griffiths, who had done well a couple of minutes previously to pounce on a low Baptiste cross with Martin lurking.

 Spurs’ dominance continued after the break, with former Hammer Kelley Blanchflower introduced at half time in place of Martin.

 It didn’t take the pacy forward long to rub salt into her old club’s wounds, as Spurs struck twice in the space of two minutes. Renee Hector headed number seven from Baptiste’s corner and then Blanchflower struck the eighth from close range after Baptiste’s shot had been deflected into her path.

 The Irons were becoming increasingly overwhelmed in the centre of the park again but determined performances in midfielder from Amy Cooper and at the back from former interim manager Karen Ray were keeping the visitors from adding to their already impressive tally.

 But it couldn’t last any longer, and Blanchflower grabbed her second of the afternoon before Schillaci completed the scoring with a tap-in at the far post.

 An afternoon to forget for West Ham Ladies, who will now go into the next round of the FAWPL Plate as Spurs march on to the next round of the cup. Plenty for manager James Marrs to think about ahead of next Sunday’s visit of Coventry United Ladies to Ship Lane.

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