On to our third football match this month, Tottenham Ladies vs Blackburn Rovers Ladies in the FA Women’s Premier League Play Off. Tottenham had won the FA Women’s Premier League South, and Blackburn won the FA Women’s Premier League North.
Here’s where things get interesting. Only one team can get to the Women’s Super League 2 – so there’s a play off final between the two Premier League winners.
This doesn’t guarantee they’ll get into the WSL2 as there’s still further criteria they need to fulfil, but generally the teams in that position have all that in place already.
Tottenham Ladies must have gone in being favourites as they had already completed the treble (League plus two cups) – and this game is the biggest in their history. Blackburn had gone through this season unbeaten, so weren’t an easy opponent.
I suggested to some of my old pals who used to come to Tottenham games with me that we should all attend. Bring our kids (if we had them), and it’d be a fun way to spend a Bank Holiday Sunday. It’s cheap, and if we’re lucky it’d be sunny too. Plus the football would be pretty good and it’s OUR team.
On entering The Valley there were Tottenham volunteers handing out flags and pictures of the Ladies, as well as some blue and white face paint. I love it when things like this happen. We’ve had it at the Women’s FA Cup Final and at an England Men’s Friendly before now. You really feel a part of it! Our flags were ready and our faces striped up in time for kick off.
After a scrappy first 20 minutes with some quite brutal challenges on both sides, the game settled. It was hard to believe that due to Tottenham’s lower league status, most of the players have jobs and do this in their spare time.
Eventually the goals came – and Tottenham sealed their historic quadruple, gaining promotion to the WSL2 for the first time.
As this was the first time we’ve watched Tottenham Ladies play, we needed time to get to know the players. Bianca Baptiste is outstanding – and when you find out that she currently works in a gym you can only hope that the Ladies will turn professional now (I’m not sure if it is a requirement) and Bianca could become one of our star players. She scored the first two goals, and was also Player of the Match.
Wendy Martin’s goal in the 90th minute was fantastic!
Tickets for Tottenham v Blackburn Rovers were cheap. Adults were £5, over 10’s £2.50 and under 10’s £1. We went to Charlton Athletic’s ground, The Valley. The total attendance was 826.
I enjoyed that a few people started singing some songs, even though it didn’t really pick up like at the men’s game. I really try not to compare the two, and I was desperate to start a “Karen Hills blue and white army!” chant but was too cowardly.
The afternoon was fun, there are several new converts to the world of women’s football and I’m now tempted to buy extra tickets for games to encourage more people to come along.
Tottenham Ladies did us all proud. We all made it onto a video at the very end too which was quite amusing!
Tottenham Ladies play their games at Cheshunt FC. They have also played a game at White Hart Lane last season. I’m glad to see that they’re included when it comes to teams representing the Tottenham name.
Tottenham Ladies are definitely our Women’s team. They were always going to be.
Now Tottenham Ladies are a WSL2 side, they are eligible to apply for a place in WSL1, as Notts County folded earlier this year. All WSL2 clubs can do this as there is a space, but they have to fulfil various licence criteria.
In the WSL each league has ten teams. Clubs play each other twice, home and away, same as usual. From September the WSL will run alongside the men’s, starting at the same time for the first time ever.
We’re part of the BritMums/FA Ambassador group where we’re attending women’s games. We couldn’t attend Chelsea v Liverpool because of this game (which ended up 7-0 to Chelsea). Instead we’re going to see Arsenal Ladies v Reading. Given our Tottenham-supporting status, it’s going to be interesting watching our rivals. It’ll probably be a lot nicer than the men’s game too which can get quite nasty at times.
That’s another thing about the women’s game I like. There’s none of the nastiness there like you can get in the men’s game. Sometimes it can be so intense. The women’s game is a breath of fresh air. It’s the sort of place you want to take your children.