WSL: Spurs hammer London derby win to end promising season

Bethany England applauds the fans after the Adobe Women's FA Cup Semi Final between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City
Bethany England applauds the fans after the Adobe Women's FA Cup Semi Final between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City on April 14, 2024 (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

The final match-day of the 2023/24 Women’s Super League season saw West Ham United travel to Spurs for a London derby day. Held at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, both teams looked end the season on a high and secure the three points on the big stage. 

Starting XIs 

Tottenham Hotspur

Spencer; Neville, James-Turner, Bühler, Grant, Clinton, Summanen, Petzelberger, Bizet, Thomas, England.

West Ham

Arnold; Smith, Tysiak, Cissoko, Denton, Hayashi, Shimizu, Asseyi, Harries, Ziu, Ueki. 

First half

Tottenham Hotspur had the perfect start as captain Bethany England slotted home after only four minutes. With the West Ham goalkeeper unable to fully grasp the ball, Martha Thomas chipped the ball across goal to the skipper, who placed it in the back of the net. 

Minutes later, a corner from Eveliina Summanen almost led to the hosts’ second goal as Charli Grant headed the ball onto the post from close range. As they tried to capitalise on their lead, Spurs seemed in control of the match.

At half-time, the momentum was all in the Lilywhites’ favour. With several close chances, they dominated the possession stats going into the tunnel. However, with only a one goal lead, it was all to play for in the second half. 

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Second half

Despite Spurs’ dominance in the first half, the Hammers came out fighting after the break. 

Only five minutes into the half, Riko Ueki slotted the ball past Becky Spencer to pull the match level. A long pass slipped past Tottenham Hotspur’s midfield and caught the backline off guard. At 50 minutes, West Ham found an equaliser. 

The possession still favoured the hosts, as they looked to take the lead once more. A corner from substitute Olga Ahtinen found England, who once again hit the woodwork from a header inside the area. 

The Hammers kept themselves in the game for most of the second half. However, Tottenham edged themselves back in front with 86 minutes on the clock. Grace Clinton sent a through ball to Jess Naz, who dribbled past Hawa Cissoko and found the net for Spurs’ second. These two youngsters both received senior England call-ups this week, and their link-up showed exactly why they are on Sarina Wiegman’s radar.

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With nine minutes injury time, the hosts secured the three derby day points as Drew Spence scored a late strike from outside the box. Naz outpaced the defence with a long run up the wing, setting Spence up for a class goal in the final seconds of the game.

Although the Hammers never gave up, two late goals meant Spurs hit the nail on the head, taking all three points in front of their home crowd on their final London derby of the season.

Final rankings in the WSL

Despite a heavy loss for Leicester City against Liverpool on the final match-day, the West Ham’s loss resulted in an 11th place finish. Only one place above relegation, Rehanne Skinner’s side will look to regroup over the summer and climb higher next season. 

For Robert Vilahamn and co, the win ended their season on a positive note. Reaching the final of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup for the first time, and securing their highest ever finish in the league, Tottenham Hotspur celebrated a much-improved season with their fans. With a sixth place finish, Vilahamn was pleased with the progress made during his first season at Spurs. After the break, he wants his team to come back stronger and aim high.

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