United Women 2 Spurs 2

Sunday 21 April 2024 14:15

Manchester United Women left it late to secure a point against Tottenham Hotspur in a 2-2 draw at Leigh Sports Village.

Marc Skinner's side took the lead inside the opening 15 minutes through Melvine Malard, who headed home from Gemma Evans's pint-point set piece.

Two goals in two minutes for Beth England and Jess Naz saw the visitors take the lead on the half-hour mark, leaving United with work to do in the second 45. 

Despite a dominant display after the interval, it would be Maya Le Tissier who bundled the ball over the line in the last few minutes of the game to ensure a point in our final outing at LSV of the current campaign.

United's goal scorers, Maya Le Tissier and Melvine Malard.


Tottenham started brightly and within the opening minute had their first shot on goal as Matilda Vinberg's cross found England, who blazed her effort over the bar. After the opening five minutes, the Reds settled into the game and began to make progress going forward. Ella Toone had the first chance of the half but couldn't keep her shot on target. It proved to be a catalyst for a good spell of possession for the hosts though, with Lisa Naalsund orchestrating chances for Malard and Nikita Parris.

Our breakthrough would come inside 15 minutes, kickstarted by a cynical challenge from Naz led to a free kick for United, with Gemma Evans standing over it. The Welsh international floated a wonderfully weighted ball into the path of Malard, who nodded beyond the onrushing Becky Spencer into an empty net for the opening goal of the afternoon.

Spurs looked to hit back immediately and had a chance to level through Matilda Vinberg after Naz broke down the right and delivered a low cross to her teammate, but the Swedish international dragged her shot wide of Mary Earps's post.

United continued to push forward in search of our second of the afternoon. Leah Galton used her pace down the left to get the better of the opposing defence but delivered several unanswered crosses into the area. Malard looked to double our lead soon after, but our no.9’s effort from the edge of the area was met by Spencer, who parried it away. Parris attempted to follow up on the loose ball, but Spurs’s defence was alive to the danger. 

As we approached the half-hour mark, Skinner’s side was punished for not taking our chances as our opposing number equalised. Vinberg’s initial cross from a corner was dealt with but only as far as Drew Spence, who drilled a low effort towards goal, helped on by a flick from England. 

Moments later, Spurs took the lead with their second goal in as many minutes. A mix up at the back allowed Vinberg to regain possession, pinging a ball into Naz on the edge of the area. The visiting no.7 curled her effort into the top corner beyond a diving Earps. The Reds would subsequently head into the half-time break trailing.


United were looking for a big second half as we looked to mount a response and keep our undefeated record against Spurs intact but it proved an uphill climb. Our opposition were content sitting deep, as Katie Zelem came close to an equaliser 10 minutes into the second half but her effort rattled the cross bar.

The introduction of Lucia Garcia caused problems aplenty for the visiting defence, who struggled to deal with the Spaniard. Both Vinberg and Amanda Nilden went into the book in attempts to stint our no.17 from progressing for with the ball. 

Garcia delivered a teasing cross to the edge of the six yard box where Rachel Williams looked to nod it past Spencer, but ex-Red Amy James-Turner was first to the ball, putting it behind for a corner. The resulting set-piece was swung in by Zelem and this time our veteran striker was able to meet it with a powerful header, but it flew the wrong side of the woodwork. 

Another attack came from Garcia down the right, but her shot was deflected into the arms of Spencer. With Geyse introduced towards the end, the Reds soaked up possession and pinned Spurs inside their own half as we looked to turn things around. Some good link-up play between Naalsund and our Brazilian forward almost led to an equaliser as it eventually fell to Zelem, but her shot from range was deflected over the bar.

United were relentless in the closing stages as we pushed for an equaliser. A flurry of late corners in stoppage-time would see Earps join the attack in a bid to help rescue a point, coming close on two occasions to connecting with either delivery. 

Our last roll of the dice was met by Williams in a crowded six-yard box, with her attempt rattling the crossbar - but Le Tissier's willingness to put her body one the line was duly rewarded with the equaliser seconds before the full-time whistle was sounded. 

Both United and Spurs will meet once more this term, three weeks from now, in the final of the Adobe Women's FA Cup as both sides look to become a first-time victor in the competition. 

Maya Le Tissier bundles home United's equaliser.


United: Earps; Mannion (Blundell 45), Le Tissier, Turner, Evans; Naalsund, Zelem; Malard (Williams 55), Toone (Miyazawa 76), Galton (Geyse 77); Parris (Garcia 55).

Unused substitutes: Tullis-Joyce, Aherne, Irene G. Ladd.

Goals: Malard 13; Le Tissier 90+2.

Bookings: Turner 58. 

Tottenham Hotspur: Spencer; Neville, James-Turner, Buhler, Nilden; Spence (Petzelberger 61), Summanen (Ahtinen 71); England, Thomas (Graham 34), Vinberg (Ayane 71); Naz.

Unused substitutes: Votikova, Grant, Bartrip, Brazil, Wang.

Goals: England 29; Naz 31.

Bookings: Vinberg 60; Nilden 63; Graham 86.