Fisk (OG) 53
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 West Ham United
Barclays FA Women’s Super League
Sunday 6 September 2020
Adriana Leon’s fantastic solo run and finish ensured West Ham United earned a share of the spoils in the 2020/21 Barclays FA Women’s Super League season-opener against Tottenham Hotspur.
The home side had taken the lead when a Spurs corner was diverted by Grace Fisk into her own net on 53 minutes, but Leon’s stunning strike got the Irons level less than four minutes later.
It was the Canadian forward who has the best chance to win the game as well, as her diving header was somehow denied on the line by Tottenham goalkeeper Becky Spencer.
It had been 196 days since West Ham last played in the Barclays FA WSL, with three new faces making their respective debuts for the Irons – Mackenzie Arnold, Maz Pacheco and Katerina Svitkova.
An equal, if nervy, opening ten minutes were followed by Kenza Dali winning the ball in Tottenham’s third. A combination with Adriana Leon looked promising, but Leanne Kiernan had strayed offside, bringing an end to the move.
Kit Graham went close twice in three minutes for the home side, striking the crossbar on both occasions. The first was a headed effort. The second, a strike from outside the box which kissed the woodwork.
The Hammers grew into the first half, with Dali striking a fierce shot straight at Spurs shot-stopper Spencer, Alisha Lehmann’s first-time cross was deftly headed wide by Svitkova.
A foul on Leon allowed Dali an attempt on goal from a free-kick, but last season’s top goalscorer for the Irons saw her effort go narrowly wide of the near post.
The second half saw the introduction of Rachel Daly, fresh off her loan move to the Hammers from Houston Dash, with the England international replacing Leanne Kiernan up front.
It was Spurs that enjoyed the first chance of the second period, as Arnold denied Angela Addison’s low effort, but the Irons then found themselves behind in unfortunate circumstances. The resulting corner flicked off of Fisk’s head and ended up in the back of the Hammers net. Advantage to the home side.
Any disappointment of going behind was forgotten just four minutes later, however, as West Ham levelled in style. Latching onto the precise ball forward, Leon showed her quality, driving forward before cutting inside onto her favoured right-foot, piledriving a terrific strike into the top corner.
The equaliser bought further energy to the West Ham performance, and Leon went close once again, seeing a close-ranged diving header somehow stopped by Spencer.
As the minutes ticked away, it was West Ham in control but, with the final whistle seconds off, substitute Ruby Grant struck a low shot that seemed destined for the net, only to just go wide, meaning a share of the points for both sides in the season opener.
Tottenham Hotspur: Spencer; Green (c), Harrop, Dean (Leon 68), Percival; Addison (Williams 56), Worm, Graham (Filbey 90+3); Quinn (Davison 56), Godrey, Neville (Kennedy 68)
Subs not used: Mikalsen, Zadorsky, Peplow,
Goals: Fisk OG 53,
West Ham United: Arnold; Fisk, Flaherty (c), Vetterlein, Pacheco; Cho (Van Egmond 53), Dali, Svitkova (Grant 72); Lehmann (Nor 81), Kiernan (Daly 46), Leon
Subs not used: Brosnan, Redisch, Dunbar, Cruickshank, Longhurst,
Goals: Leon 57