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Longhurst salvages point with last-gasp equaliser for West Ham at Spurs

By Football Reporter

Spurs 1 West Ham 1

Kate Longhurst’s last-gasp equaliser salvaged a valuable point for West Ham and denied Tottenham a crucial Barclays FA Women’s Super League victory that would have taken them second.

Rosella Ayane's second-half penalty appeared to have given Spurs three points at home to the Hammers who had Hawa Cissoko, who gave away the spot-kick, sent off for a second yellow in the 56th minute until lifelong Hammers fan Longhurst headed home.

The hosts registered their first effort on goal in the opening stages after some great build-up play between Ayane, Jiali Tang and Ria Percival.

Ayane continued her impressive run into the penalty area and saw her effort saved by West Ham goalkeeper Anna Leat.

They came close again in the 30th minute when Ashleigh Neville crashed an audacious half-volley agonisingly wide of the post.

West Ham maintained their defensive shape after waves of Tottenham attacks in the first period and the visitors created their first attempt on goal when Dagny Brynjarsdottir tried her luck with a powerful strike which was superbly blocked by the Tottenham backline.

Brynjarsdottir picked up the loose ball and squared to Grace Fisk who nodded her effort over the crossbar on the stroke of half-time.

Spurs started the second half in familiar fashion and were awarded a penalty when Tang was brought down by Cissoko, who was not booked for this foul, and Ayane slotted the spot-kick into the bottom corner in the 54thminute.

Two minutes later, Cissoko was given her marching orders for a second yellow card after she was penalised for a challenge on Jessica Naz and kicked the ball away.

Rehanne Skinner’s side applied further pressure when Neville’s low drive across goal was cleared off the line by Lucy Parker and moments later Leat produced an acrobatic save to deny Tang.

In stoppage time, Longhurst struck a lopping header past Tottenham shot-stopper Rebecca Spencer to secure a valuable point in the London derby.

To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Rehanne Skinner said: “Overall, I thought we played really well. We dominated the game from start to finish and created a number of chances off the back of that so I think the bottom line is: if we don’t make sure that we finish those opportunities when presented to us, we can’t leave ourselves open to making more mistakes. We defended brilliantly throughout the game.

“The penalty came at the time where we had done really well going into half-time and we spoke about the belief and confidence about the way we were moving with the ball around the final third. Our movement was creating problems and drawing defenders. Essentially, Jiali [Tang] then just created problems for defenders in that situation. The penalty was justified and at the end of the day, it gives us the opportunity to get a goal and a bit of leg up at the time.

“When teams go down to ten players, they generally raise their game and it makes it actually harder when you play against ten sometimes. For us, it was about sticking to our game plan and the pockets of space that we could exploit were still available to us.

“I just think we didn’t manage the momentum at the end of the game like we have in the past. We could made sure that we are more resolute and disciplined in our defending in the final moments.”

West Ham head coach Olli Harder said: “This was our first game back after four weeks and it showed - we were awful today.

“What I can take away is the character and the players’ resilience to stay in the game, to work hard and to represent the badge. From that aspect it’s very pleasing but in regards to performance, it’s nowhere near where it needs to be.

“I thought the last 15 minutes of the first-half we piled pressure on Tottenham and probably with a bit more quality could have taken the lead. We probably could have created more meaningful chances in the first half than they did.

“It was difficult to say but the it was called a penalty and it looked rash. It was so disappointing to give away the penalty in the manner we did and there were some aspects of our defending that we could have done better before Hawa Cissoko’s challenge, but the referee deemed it as a penalty and we couldn’t argue.

“The sending off changed the complexity of the game and from that point on, it was Tottenham that had most of the ball as we were a player down. We just needed to be resilient to stay in the game which we did. Although we didn’t play really well today, we are finding ways to win football matches.”

Tottenham Hotspur: (4-3-3): Rebecca Spencer; Shelina Zadorsky, Josie Green, Molly Bartrip, Ashleigh Neville; Ria Percival, Rosella Ayane, Jiali Tang; Jessica Naz, Kerys Harrop, Maeva Clemaron

Substitutes: Rachel Williams for Clemaron 45, Angela Addison for Naz 71, Chioma Ubogagu for Ayane 78,

Substitutes not used: Asmita Ale, Esther Morgan, Tinja-Riikka Korpela

Goals: Ayane 54 (pen)

Bookings: Clemaron 45+4

West Ham: (5-3-2): Anna Leat; Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Grace Fisk, Gilly Flaherty, Hawa Cissoko, Kate Longhurst; Emma Snerle, Lisa Evans, Katerina Svitkova; Claudia Walker, Dagny Brynjarsdottir

Substitutes: Zaneta Wyne for Stringer 45, Lucy Parker for Snerle 67, Melisa Filis for Walker 85

Substitutes not used: Brooke Cairns, Lois Joel, Emily Moore, Halle Houssein, Grace Garrad

Goals: Longhurst 90+2

Bookings: Stringer 18, Cissoko 30, Snerle 57

Red cards: Cissoko 56

Referee: Amy Fearn

Attendance: 678


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