A 5-0 WOMEN’S FA Cup exit to Tottenham Hotspur failed to reflect a brave effort from Coventry United Ladies.
Rianna Dean’s hat-trick plus Siri Worm’s long-range stunner and a Lucia Leon tap-in made sure of Spurs’ place in the quarter-finals in Monday night’s tie at Butts Park Arena.
Considering how the Red and Greens started the encounter, the end result was much to everyone’s surprise.
An early attempt by Helen Dermody threatened to open the scoring with Spurs ‘keeper Becky Spencer well out of position, while Sue Wood was troubled down the other end by a number of close calls from the Spurs forward line.
A header from Ria Percival that seemed destined for the top corner was expertly kept out by the instantaneous reflexes of Coventry’s custodian.
But from the resulting corner Spurs went ahead. Worm received the ball from a short corner and deceived Wood with a whipped cross-shot that sailed into the far corner of the net.
Spurs doubled their lead when Hayley Crackle conceded a penalty, allowing Dean to lash into the top-right corner on 27 minutes.
A second spot-kick in first-half stoppage, again dispatched by Dean, left the Championship side with a mountain to climb against the Super League outfit.
The hosts threw everything at Tottenham in a bid to recover after the restart, with Maz Gauntlett driving a speculative effort wide and recent signing Simran Jhamat going close.
Spurs’ fourth was conjured up in emphatic style, as substitute Lucy Quinn’s sumptuous delivery into Leon allowed the Spaniard to apply the simplest of finishes at the back post with 13 minutes left
Moments from time, Dean completed her hat-trick with a header high into the roof of the net at the near post, again from a Quinn cross.
Coventry will no doubt learn from the experience against a top-level side and use it to drag themselves out of relegation trouble in the league. That quest continues with Sunday’s trip to unbeaten leaders Aston Villa at The Trevor Brown Memorial Ground (3pm) in Boldmere.