Tottenham Hotspur toasted a remarkable double as they lifted The FA Women’s Premier League Cup on Sunday afternoon, courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Cardiff City.
It took 120 minutes to separate the sides, but after Hope Suominen cancelled out Bianca Baptiste’s opener in normal time, Maya Vio popped up at the back post to head home the winner and spark wild celebrations from the Spurs players.
The showcase at Kidderminster’s Aggborough Stadium was Tottenham’s third cup final in as many weeks, and after also lifting the Ryman Cup, manager Karen Hills could hardly contain her delight.
Tottenham 2-1 Cardiff
FA Women's Premier League Cup
Sunday 8 May 2016
by Jack Miller
“This is an amazing feeling,” she said. “I thought the girls were tremendous and Cardiff City took it to the wire.
“But the girls stuck to their task, and for little Mia to pop up at the end and score with a header is remarkable. This was a great occasion.”
Spurs fashioned the first real chance when Baptiste latched on to Wendy Martin’s pass and fired a dipping shot goalwards which was well saved by Alesha McGlynn.
Cardiff City had a couple of efforts themselves, with both Kelly Bartlett and Michelle Green going close, but it was Baptiste who opened the scoring after half an hour.
It was superb play from Leah Rawle, whose powerful run from the back and lob over McGlynn set up Baptiste to make it 1-0.
But City were back on level terms before the break, after Hannah Mills made a brilliant goal-line clearance to deny Baptiste a second.
Kelly Isaac found Suominen, whose dipping effort found its way over Toni-Anne Wayne to make the score 1-1 at half-time.
Laura Williams wasted a good chance for Cardiff after she was put through one-on-one with Wayne, who also saved from Alys Hinchcliffe in the second half.
Spurs’ Ryman Cup success went down to penalties and it looked as if this tie was heading that way as well with the full 30 minutes of extra time up – Martin seeing a 93rd-minute goal chalked off for offside.
There was further drama as McGlynn was injured meaning defender Mills had to don the gloves, and there was nothing she could do about Vio’s winner.
The ball came in from the left in the dying moments and Vio leapt highest to nod home and send the WPL Cup to North London.
“It’s a dream come true,” said goalkeeper Wayne, who was also celebrating her 33rd birthday. “It’s been brilliant of course to get into three finals but this was the one that we really wanted to go out and win.
“It’s the biggest trophy that we play in apart from the SSE Women’s FA Cup, and I think both sides did the competition proud as it was a great game.
“We’ve got fantastic spirit and everyone in this team works hard for each other. The girls showed what they are made of.”
Elsewhere in the FA Women’s Premier League there were two games played in the Northern Division on Sunday.
Sporting Club Albion now need to win two of their remaining three games if they are to edge out Preston North End at the top of the table, after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield Town.
Karen Clough had the away side up at half time but the Terriers levelled to earn a draw, and Stoke City moved up to third place in the standing courtesy of a 2-0 win in their penultimate match.
Two goals in the last 10 minutes from Louise Roberts and Cassie Hyde earned the Potters all three points after the put a first-half penalty wide.