RIANNA DEAN scored a stoppage-time winner as Tottenham survived a late West Ham comeback at the Hive.
Emma Mitchell scored what long looked to be the winner for Spurs on her first start since joining the club on loan from Arsenal until Kenza Dali curled in a late equaliser for West Ham – much against the run of play.
2 Rianna Dean wheels away in delight after her late winner Credit: Getty – Contributor
It appeared as though West Ham, who lost to Tottenham 2-0 at the London Stadium in the reverse fixture, were going to prevent their rivals from doing the double but up stepped Dean for her third of the season to secure a deserved three points for the hosts.
It may not have been in front of 24,790 fans this time but the game still had the feeling of a fierce London derby, former Hammer Ria Percival and Josie Green firing over at one end before Alisha Lehmann was denied twice at the other.
After a brief spell of away pressure, Spurs were back in the ascendancy. First, Rosella Ayane saw her effort tipped wide before Mitchell hammered home from the resulting corner.
The home side had an early chance in the second half when Kit Graham met Ayane’s floated cross, but Courtney Brosnan got down well to save before helping again to keep the deficit to one by tipping over Dean’s volley.
The pacey Spurs frontline, spearheaded by the lively Ayane, continued to frustrate the West Ham defence in the closing stages but it was Mitchell who came closest to doubling the scores as her late effort flashed wide of the post.
But in an incredible finish Dali levelled the scores on 90, before Dean sent the Spurs masses into raptures by flicking her header over Brosnan to seal her side’s fifth win of the season.
2 Rianna Dean was the hero for Tottenham Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Tottenham’s Emma Mitchell said: “Last year was a difficult one for me because I wasn't getting the game time and I had a dip in confidence.
“Playing for Spurs is an opportunity for me to get some game time without having to move my whole life. It's only twenty minutes away from Arsenal and I just wanted to get back playing and Spurs gave me the opportunity.
“Now I feel like I can go out there and express myself again. I'm so pleased to do that today and even end up with a goal. It's been nice to get my self-belief back and hopefully that shows in my performances.
“I think the potential is there for this team to go far. It's a really young team and they've already shown they can compete in this division.”
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