Ladies edged out at White Hart Lane
- West Ham United Ladies beaten 4-0 by Tottenham Hotspur in historic White Hart Lane fixture
- Spurs are new FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division champions
- Hammers host north London rivals in their final home game of the season on Sunday 14 May
West Ham United Ladies put up a brave display but new FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division champions Tottenham Hotspur ultimately proved too strong at White Hart Lane.
The historic fixture was played at Spurs’ soon-to-be demolished stadium on Wednesday evening, a year after West Ham had welcomed their London rivals to the Boleyn ground for a fixture in similarly emotional circumstances.
With 2,140 fans present, including hundreds of travelling Hammers, the unbeaten home side showed why they have won all but one of their league matches this season to complete a 4-0 victory that saw them secure the Southern Division title.
A competitive first half ended with Spurs a single Josie Green goal to the good, but the hosts netted three more times after the break through Wendy Martin, Nikita Whinnett and Bianca Baptiste.
For West Ham, who welcome Tottenham to Thurrock FC in their final league game on Sunday 14 May, Chloe Burr tested former Hammer Toni-Anne Wayne in the Spurs goal, fired a second effort narrowly wide and saw a third blocked before half-time.
Into the second half and Jasmine Auguste and Shannon Albuery both went close, but Greg De Carnys’ team just could not find a way past Wayne and her well-drilled defence, which has now conceded just six goals in 17 league matches.
“It’s obviously not a nice feeling being on the end of that scoreline and to watch them win the league, to get the trophy and do it at White Hart Lane as well,” De Carnys admitted.
“But we have to look at the positives. We obviously now have to play Tottenham again and we have to learn from what happened again in the game.
“I think in the first half it was quite an even game, I’m sure that they would agree, but unfortunately towards the end of the second half their quality and fitness levels started to show. There was some important defending that had to be done at the end of that second half.”
Now we have got to dig deep and find something special for the last game of the season and that is what we are hoping to do
Greg De Carnys
Defeat at White Hart Lane leaves West Ham ninth in the eleven-team table, four points ahead of Queens Park Rangers Ladies and one ahead of Swindon Town Ladies in tenth.
Both teams below the Hammers have games in-hand, but De Carnys is hopeful his team will not be bottom of the pile come the season’s end.
"We have to also recognise the position that we are in the league, we’re currently third from bottom now, four points ahead of Queens Park Rangers, so even little things like the blocks on the line we made could be really important if it came down to goal difference,” he continued.
“We are where we are because of all the games that we have had this season. Now we have got to dig deep and find something special for the last game of the season and that is what we are hoping to do.”
Whatever happens in the remaining weeks of the 2016/17 campaign, De Carnys believes he and his coaching staff will be working with a talented and improving squad next season.
“We are a young squad who are building a project for the long term and to have such a group of young players – we have an average age of 19 in the squad – is great for the future,” he confirmed.
“We were taking on a Tottenham team that is going to be an FA Women’s Super League (WSL) 2 team next year and a good WSL 2 team I think.
“Our girls have a lot of things to learn but also have a lot of potential because they are young, ambitious and they have got quality. They are still gelling as a team, I think those sorts of things will grow and hopefully we will be in a similar position to Tottenham in not too long.”