Tottenham Hotspur Ladies completed a cup double this season with a late Maya Vio finish in the 120th minute of extra-time to defeat Cardiff City, subsequently adding the FA Women’s Premier League Cup to the earlier won Ryman Cup.
Karen Hills’ side started the brightest with a front three of Wendy Martin, Bianca Baptiste and Katie O’Leary forcing Cardiff into some early defensive mistakes. In the 12th minute, that pressure almost paid off after Martin played Baptiste in for a one-on-one chance, as Alesha McGlynn made a vital stop.
The Welsh outfit almost found the back of the net inadvertently after Laura Williams’ cross out on the left, looking for Hope Souminen, needed Toni-Anne Wayne to tip the ball away from danger. Kelly Isaac then picked out Kelly Bartlett, whose dipping attempt went wide of Wayne’s right-hand post.
With half an hour on the clock, Martin picked out Leah Rawle making her way from the back, before she lobbed McGlynn for Baptiste to tap in at the far post. Wayne was in inspired form moments later tipping the ball over the bar from Williams’ floated free-kick. Just before half-time, the lilywhites almost doubled their lead if not for Hannah Mills – who recovered to clear Baptiste’s lobbed effort over McGlynn from crossing the line. Isaac found Souminen whose dipping attempt from just outside the area made its way over Wayne. Despite keeping defensively strong, it was 1-1 going in at the break.
The second-half saw Williams’ shot being saved from close-range by Wayne, after doing well to break into the area. Josie Green recovered superbly to close down Alys Hinchcliffe stopping her from getting a shot away, as Wayne was needed again to stop Hinchcliffe’s attempt from six-yards seconds later. Alex Keown, who was playing in her 42nd game of the season, won possession from Williams before freeing Bergin, whose dangerous cross was denied by the out-stretched Gemma Evans at the near post.
With 90 minutes not enough to decide a winner, extra-time was needed – which had everyone on the edge of their seats.
Martin had the ball in the back of the net from Baptiste’s delivery but was ruled out for offside, before Cardiff were forced down to ten players after ‘keeper McGlynn had to be taken off with an injury in the 105th minute. Mills stepped in goal, and saved Avilla Bergin’s close range effort – after the Northern Ireland International broke off two challenges inside the area. With penalties looming, Vio rose the highest to head home Ronnell Humes’ cross with the last kick of the game, capping off a tremendous season.
Referee: Darren McMillain
Assistant Referees: Ryan Williams, Kat Davey
Cardiff City Ladies:
1.Alesha McGlynn, 2. Hannah Mills, 5. Gemma Evans, 4. Abbie Britton (c), 3. Kelly Aldridge, 6. Michelle Green [Chloe Lloyd 63’’], 7. Kelly Isaac, 8. Alys Hinchcliffe [Beth Lloyd 105’’], 9. Kelly Bartlett, 10. Hope Souminen [Cori Williams 102’’], 11. Laura Williams.
Substitutions: 12. Cori Williams, 14. Chloe Lloyd, 15. Ffion Price, 16. Amy Wathan, 17. Beth Lloyd.
1.Toni-Anne Wayne, 6. Alex Keown, 11. Jenna Schillaci (c), 3. Leah Rawle [Rosie Kmita 76’’] , 15. Josie Green, 16. Maya Vio, 12. Riana Soobadoo, 14. Katie O’Leary [Avilla Bergin 72’’], 8. Bianca Baptiste [Ronnell Humes 99’’], 5. Sophie Mclean, 10. Wendy Martin.
Substitutions: 7. Avilla Bergin, 24. Ronnell Humes, 4. Shannon Moloney, 22. Kelley Blanchflower, 17. Rosie Kmita.
Match Report by Khalid Karimullah at Aggborough Stadium.