A Determining Round, as the name suggests the tie is the same as last season when the new look format of the League Cup began, to determine which team will play in which competition with the winners progressing into the League Cup proper and the other going into the pot to contest the FAWPL League Plate.
Cheshunt FC is Tottenham Hotspur Ladies new home venue this season and is the 1st time I've seen them play at their home ground having seen them on the road previously. Cheshunt FC's Stadium on Theobalds Lane is just off the M25, has recently seen some renovation work to it's entrance, with a good clubhouse and refreshments available, a small seated stand on both sides of the ground with a new fence surrounding the pitch which looked in great condition.
Lewes Ladies are a side I have been wanting to get round to seeing for some time like Tottenham Hotspur Ladies are now an established side in the FAWPL Southern Division since achieving promotion in 2012, also known as the Rookettes. Are amongst the most proactive on social media. When the draw for the competition was made this was the tie that I wanted to see.
A pretty gloomy day overhead considering we're still in August, overcast and a cool feel to the air although not cold, threat of rain but I was undercover sitting in the stands as the two sides came out onto the pitch.
Tottenham Hotspur Ladies starting XI - Toni Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon, Sophie McLean, Alexandra Keown, Jenna Schillaci (C), Shannon Maloney, Avilla Bergin, Wendy Martin, Bianca Baptiste, Riana-Devi Soobadoo & Katie O'Leary.
subs - Leah Rawle, Rosie Kmita, Amy Cooper & Chloe Morgan.
Lewes Ladies starting XI - Lauren Dolbear, Claire Capon, Natasha Wells, Katie McIntyre, Rachel Palmer, Kelly Newton (C), Danielle Lane, Sian Cheedy, Paige Walder, Cherrelle Khassal & Sian Heather.
subs - Lauren Smith, Kate Donnan, Gabby Baldock.
Tottenham have kick off are wearing white shirts and socks with navy coloured shorts with Lewes lined up opposite in their change strip of orange shirts, black shorts and socks. Tottenham are the most attack minded side I've seen play in women's football and it isn't long before they are looking to get behind the Lewes defence with Bianca Baptiste wide on the ride receiving the ball and looking to cross it into the box, Natasha Wells puts in the tackle to win the ball back for Lewes.
Baptiste is on the ball shortly after standing over a free kick wide on the right half way inside the Lewes half, plays in a high ball towards the area, Katie O'Leary leaps to attack it for Tottenham, Lauren Dolbear keeping goal for Lewes can see the ball wide and out. Baptiste and O'Leary combine the latter winning a corner from Baptiste's pass. Played in from the right the target, Wendy Martin at the far post stoops to head the ball back in towards goal, Dolbear comes out to make save the ball spills out behind her but the Lewes defence gets to it 1st a rushed clearance comes back to Martin her 2nd attempt at goal is blocked.
Tottenham continue to press early on another corner is won on the left the target again is Martin gets her head to the ball this time on the edge of the area knocks it down into the ground, her team mate Alexandra Keown up from the back is the player to connect with the ball sends a low shot with plenty of pace through the crowded area, the shot is blocked on line by the Lewes defender covering the post.
Lewes attacks are few and far between in the opening 10 minutes Tottenham having them pinned back are playing a high line, getting hold of the ball in the middle Paige Walder attempts to play the ball through to Cherrelle Khassal looking to break beyond the Tottenham defence, is stopped as captain Jenna Schillaci makes a vital tackle to deny the chance.
Lewes are sitting off the Tottenham defence the players at the back allowed to play the ball out looking to release the attackers beyond, Alex Keown in particular with a great long range pass looking to pick out Avilla Bergin as she makes a diagonal run, in the Lewes goal Dolbear is alert to the danger and out quickly to the edge of her area to make the save before Bergin can get anything on the ball.
Lewes best outlet in attack seems to be Danielle Lane down the left flank prepared to go after the ball and hold it up looks to cut back inside on two occasions gets the cross in towards the area can't pick out an orange shirt. On the opposite side Sian Heather with the powerful run into the corner sends a cross into the box from the right, having made up the ground from midfield to get there Katie McIntyre meets the ball 1st touch strike the shot is blocked by the back tracking Tottenham defence.
|Paige Walder looking to bring the ball forwards for Lewes Ladies|
Lewes look for an immediate response as they are awarded a free kick 30 yards out as Lane is fouled trying to come back inside from the left, it's McIntyre to hit the strike sends the ball in towards the far post a good effort with players coming in to attack it, Tottenham goalkeeper Toni Anne Wayne does well jumping through the crowd to punch the ball away.
|Paige Walder with the equaliser|
GOAL! Moments later Wayne is the villain as her error brings about an equalising goal for Lewes as her kick out from the area goes straight into the feet of Lewes striker Paige Walder 25 yards out from goal she fires her shot straight back in low and accurate to find the net and make it 1-1. Half an hour gone.
Bergin is getting plenty of the ball looking to take on the Lewes defence, looking to cut into the box from the by line can't get the cross away as Sian Cheedy slides in to put the ball out for a corner kick. From the resulting corner a spot of pinball occurs on the edge of the Lewes area as the ball is played out to the players inside the D at least three shots are blocked at close range before the loose ball arrives at the feet of Baptiste 20 yards out has a strike on goal pulls it wide of the target.
Lane is played in down the left again for Lewes a race to the ball between her and Tottenham's Lucia Leon, into the box Lane does well to keep hold of the ball before rolling it across to her right where Walder is there to hit the shot in towards goal, Wayne is down sharply to make the save knocking the ball away for a corner. Tottenham make a 1st half substitution with Baptiste who looked to have taken a knock a few moment before coming of with Leah Rawle coming on to join the attack.
GOAL! Into the last 5 minutes of the 1st half and Tottenham retake the lead. The home side with possession on the left bring it into the Lewes half the cross-field ball is sent forwards with Martin the player bursting up the field central 20 yards out she heads the ball on picking out O'Leary beyond right of goal unmarked six yards out she strokes the ball back across the goal and into the back of the net 2-1.
GOAL! Into injury time in the 1st half and Tottenham add a 3rd goal with Lewes attacking having players up the pitch Tottenham break, have Martin on the ball charging forwards driving into the area right corner has support hits the low cross along the six yard line the target Rawle in the centre she can't make contact with the ball nevertheless it rolls through to Bergin at the back post she hits the ball sending it high into the back of the net 3-1.
Half time Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 3-1 Lewes Ladies.
Two late goals half left Lewes Ladies shell shocked as Tottenham go into the dressing room at half time with a 3-1 lead. Have though had the majority of the attack and created more chances to score, have been allowed to have the ball inside their own half sitting back Lewes haven't had the players in forward positions when they look to break, capitalised on a mistake to get back into the match once, need to score twice in the 2nd half if they want to get back into the tie as they kick off the 2nd period.
It's Tottenham though that start on the front foot with Soobadoo bringing the ball out wide left playing it into Rawle in front of her taking the ball up the wing she looks to swing a cross in towards the far post with Bergin the player looking to get onto the end of it, leaping Bergin can't quite get there as the ball sails out of play.
In the middle of the park Shannon Maloney has been performing the sitting role in front of defence for much of the 1st half now she looks to bring the ball forwards, plays the pass out to O'Leary on the right on the run she hits the cross into the box Dolbear leaps up to claim the ball before Rawle can get anywhere near it. O'Leary then drills a shot over the crossbar from distance after Tottenham retain possession around the Lewes box.
|Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, Shannon Maloney on the ball|
GOAL! Penalty to Tottenham! 20 minutes into the 2nd half O'Leary is brought down on the left corner of the area as she races after the ball, Dolbear has come to try and intercept O'Leary goes over the keepers leg the referee points to the spot. It's Tottenham captain Schillaci to take makes no mistake coolly sending the ball into the right of the net 4-1.
Tottenham continue to have the attack Lewes are hard pressed to make anything happen in the final 3rd, the home side working hard to win the ball back all over the pitch, Martin takes hold of the ball 20 yards out from the Lewes goal doesn't hesitate to shoot puts the ball straight into Dolbear's gloves. Lewes make their 1st change with Lauren Smith coming on for Lane.
|Lewes Ladies captain Kelly Newton battle's Tottenham's Wendy Martin for the ball|
Lewes make their 2nd change Walder coming off for Gabby Baldock. Tottenham's final change sees Martin replaced by Amy Cooper. A give and go between Kmita and O'Leary brings the home side a corner on the right the ball put into the area goes through the crowd falls to Cooper who smashes the ball high over the bar.
GOAL! Tottenham add a 5th goal, Bergin the scorer. It's Maloney who brings the ball out from the back plays the pass long looking for Bergin who steals in on the Lewes defence to take the ball running on towards the edge of the area picks her spot placing the ball to the left of the keeper to score her 2nd goal and Tottenham's 5th of the match 5-1.
|With her next touch Avilla Bergin scores Tottenham's 5th goal|
The final whistle blows and Tottenham run out 5-1 winners to clinch their place in the FAWPL League Cup draw proper with a convincing win over Lewes Ladies today. The draw for both the FAWPL League Cup and the Plate which Lewes Ladies will now contest is scheduled for September 14th.
My thanks to both Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, June Clarke and Jane Roberts for Lewes Ladies for helping me out with the teams today.