Late Naz strike fires Spurs to Barclays FA Women’s Super League summit | OneFootball
Late Naz strike fires Spurs to Barclays FA Women’s Super League summit
Jessica Naz scored the only goal as Tottenham Hotspur defeated Reading 1-0 at The Hive this afternoon.
Naz netted five minutes from time to fire Spurs to the top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table, at least for a few hours.
It was a quiet start with both teams getting a similar share of possession, however, the full debuts of Reading’s summer signings Natasha Dowie, Deanne Rose and Justine Vanhaevermaet gave the strong message that The Royals were coming to The Hive for nothing other than three points.
Kit Graham registered the first shot on target for the hosts in the 11th minute but she failed to beat Reading keeper Grace Moloney.
It wasn’t long until Reading’s new signings began to gel together and they went close in the 20th minute when Canadian international Rose dispossessed ex-Royal Molly Bartrip to go one-on-one with Rebecca Spencer but as the Olympic Gold Medalist attempted to skip around the Spurs keeper, the ball was smothered at her feet.
With Reading squandering their best chance of the first half, Spurs began to grow stronger and stronger. Their impressive interplay started to cause problems and Reading struggled to contain their opponents. On the half-hour, Gemma Evans brought down the advancing Chioma Ubogagu. A free-kick was awarded on the edge of the box but Ria Percival was unable to convert.
Evans continued to be challenged by Spurs’ aggressive press. Just before half-time, the Welsh international was dispossessed by Ubogagu. Advancing into the box, the Spurs forward squared the ball to Percival, however, Moloney was quick off her line to squander the shot. The block resulted in a goal-mouth scramble which forced Moloney into an impressive double save with the ball eventually being cleared off the line by a Reading defender.
Spurs kept creeping closer to netting the opening goal early in the second half but they squandered a couple of great chances. Graham threatened by first playing in Ubogagu whose deflected shot from inside the box hit the side-netting before then cutting inside to fire a shot of her own just wide of the right post.
Reading’s Rose then fired an effort just over the bar after cutting in from the left before Rachel Williams headed wide at point blank range for the hosts as the game remained goalless.
From here, the contest quietened down other than a couple of attempts from Williams and Graham. That was until the 84th minute when the two sides were finally separated. During the week, Spurs boss Rehanne Skinner told a story about forward Naz showing her magical powers by replicating a scene from Roald Dahl’s Matilda when in the England Under-19 squad and with a bit of magic from the forward this afternoon, she was able to toe poke the ball past Reading keeper Moloney to net the winning goal, two days on from her 21st birthday.
Spurs can now look forward to their midweek North London derby meeting with Arsenal in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup with a 100% winning record in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League while Reading’s search for their first goal and points of the new season goes on.