Tottenham cruise to victory over London Lionesses

Tottenham Hotspur's goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer gestures on the pitch during the FA Women's Super Lea

Tottenham Hotspur's goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer gestures on the pitch during the FA Women's Super League match at The Hive Stadium, London. - Credit: PA

Continental Cup: Tottenham 4 London City Lionesses 0

Alanna Kennedy’s free-kick was the pick of the goals as Tottenham Hotspur eased past London City Lionesses with a 4-0 victory in their first FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup game of the season.

The result will help restore some confidence at Spurs following recent heavy defeats against Arsenal and Manchester City, while the Lionesses deserve credit for never being overawed.

It took 12 minutes for Tottenham to open the scoring when Rosella Ayane’s low cross was pushed out by London City goalkeeper Shae Yanez into the path of Ria Percival, who lashed into the roof of the net.

The Lionesses almost quickly equalised in spectacular fashion, when Alli Murphy’s strike from 30 yards just didn’t dip in time as it bounced off the top of the bar.

But Spurs took control of the contest after Kennedy’s free-kick beat Yanez at her near post with just under half an hour played.

A third goal soon followed as Kit Graham did well to hold off an opponent before playing the ball through for Ayane, who found the net with an emphatic finish.

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Graham then hit the post just before Yanez did well to get in the way of Kennedy’s follow-up just ahead of half-time, which brought sweeping changes from both teams.

One of the Spurs subs, Lucia Leon, bent an effort narrowly wide from the edge of the area, as the home side looked for more goals.

One finally arrived with eight minutes left when Angela Addison smashed in from close range after Ashleigh Neville’s cross had fallen her way.

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Tottenham striker Rosella Ayane said: “A win has been a long time coming, but we finally got that today and all the girls deserved it; a clean sheet, four goals and hopefully we can take that momentum into Saturday.

“I think getting an early goal in those types of games is massive and we managed to do that through Ria [Percival], so that was really good for us.

“They banked up and in the second half they performed well, but as I said, four goals and a clean sheet is massive for us.

“It’s always nice to score as a striker and hopefully I can take that into the game on Saturday and one goal can lead to many more.

“(Manchester) United may be looking for a reaction after losing at Liverpool, but we’re just focusing on ourselves at the moment.

“Momentum is massive in football, so if we can take this performance into Saturday we can hopefully get the three points.”

London City Lionesses midfielder Poppy Wilson said: “I thought we did really well in competing against a top side and I thought we showed what we are capable of.

“Individually, I thought some of the players today showed what they can do and as a team, collectively, I thought we did really well.

“We spoke at half-time about being disciplined, our attitude, our work rate, being together as a team and I really think the girls put a good effort in during the second half. All we can do is take the positives.

“It’s tough in these games and you need to step up in intensity and I think we did that today.

“Some of the players out there, you just watch and you think ‘wow’ at some of the things they do and you can only learn from playing against players like that. I don’t necessarily think the result reflected our performance, but we were up against a top side.”

Tottenham Hotspur (4-3-3): Becky Spencer, Ashleigh Neville, Hannah Godfrey, Shelina Zadorsky, Kerys Harrop, Alanna Kennedy, Josie Green, Kit Graham, Gemma Davison, Rosella Ayane, Ria Percival

Substitutes: Lucy Quinn for Percival 46, Lucia Leon for Graham 46, Angela Addison for Davison 46, Anna Filbey for Kennedy 46, Rianna Dean for Ayane 62

Substitutes not used: Amy Martin, Siri Worm, Elisha Sulola

Goals: Percival 12, Kennedy 29, Ayane 35, Addison 82

Bookings: Godfrey 70

London City Lionesses (4-3-2-1): Shae Yanez, Chantelle Mackie, Harley Bennett, Ylenia Priest, Grace Neville, Alli Murphy, Lilly Pursey, Poppy Wilson, Annie Rossiter, Kallie Balfour, Atlanta Primus

Substitutes: Juliette Kemppi for Rossiter 46, Lucy Fitzgerald for Balfour 46, Hayley Nolan for Wilson 60, Leanne Cowan for Primus 84

Substitutes not used: Lucy Thomas, Freda Ayisi, Lily Agg

Bookings: Bennett 28

Referee: Sarah Garratt