Bianca Baptiste: Spurs Ladies have the firepower to maintain early momentum
Red-hot striker Bianca Baptiste says Spurs Ladies have the firepower to maintain their momentum after continuing their perfect start to the season and shooting to the top of the league.
Baptiste struck a hat-trick as Karen Hills’ Lilywhites triumphed 6-1 away at Lewes on Sunday, securing their fourth successive league victory in the Women’s Premier League Southern Division.
Kelley Blanchflower, Nikita Whinnett and Wendy Martin were also on target for Tottenham, who sit top of the pile and already have a goal difference of +13 – which does not include their 10-0 victory over West Ham in the League Cup.
In total, Spurs have scored 25 goals in their opening five games, while only conceding twice, and Baptiste is eager to sustain the impetus ahead of the league clash against C&K Basildon at Cheshunt FC on October 2.
“It was a great performance,” said Baptiste. “Every single striker had their chances and took them successfully.
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“For us now, going forward, it’s just a case of continuing to pick up points basically and keep moving. We’re working well, working as a team, making full use of the squad and doing brilliantly. That’s the main focus really, just keeping the momentum up.
“The hat-trick was amazing, I felt so good inside. The girls worked hard – if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have got those three goals.
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“They were setting me up with some beautiful balls – one from Ri (Riana Soobadoo) was amazing – I literally saw that coming, she always works well with me. I’m just really happy with it, over the moon!
“The other three girls always get on the scoresheet too! They were excellent and I’m just glad to have all of us scoring and taking those chances. We don’t just have one top striker, we have literally all of us who are always making it happen.”
Spurs were 5-0 up before half-time on Sunday, allowing Hills to experiment a little in the second period.
“Coming out and being 5-0 up, it was just about taking a step back and just playing our football – passing, moving, just using it as a learning curve,” said Baptiste.
“We brought on other players just to try and see where we can play, and to be fair I think we did well. Even though we did concede, we did score another as well so I think that worked well in our favour. It was just about keeping the ball going, just not giving up, and that’s what we did.”
Riana Soobadoo, who set up Baptiste’s third goal, said: “Sometimes you find that teams have great players individually but as a team find it hard to link up and gel on the pitch.
“We’re lucky to all have a fantastic understanding of each other’s games and produce, whether it’s scoring or assisting one another.
“Bianca and I have been playing together since we were 10 years old so we know each other’s games very well, which has shown recently with me assisting and her scoring in a few games already. Also, credit to Nikita, who has just joined us recently but looks like she’s been playing here for a while.
“One thing about this team is that we’re a very close-knit group both on and off the pitch. Everyone is on such a high at the moment with the great start we’ve had - but we’re just taking it one game at a time. It’s a long season and we have a lot of football still to play.
“We want to be up there in the league and we have two cups to defend so we need to stay focused and not get complacent as we are the team to beat at the moment.”
Soobado added: “We’ve already seen a much stronger fight in us as a squad this season - something that was missing last season.
“Take the Crystal Palace game. We led 1-0 for a long time and, although they put a lot of pressure on us in the second half, we managed the game well to take away three points.
“Last season in tough games like that we didn’t hold on to leads and dropped points, so that’s definitely something we’ve already improved on.”