AFTER the euphoria of reaching the Devon Cup Final last week, it was back to normal for Kevin Taylor and his players, as Argyle Ladies made the long trip to face Tottenham Hotspurs with the bare XI and despite a battling performance, they ultimately came away with a 3-0 defeat that sees them remain rooted to the foot of the FA Premier League table with games fast running out and the relegation trap door widening even further.

It’s hard enough travelling 260 miles on the day to face the top sides but without four or five key players it was always going to be an uphill struggle and so it proved against a Tottenham side sat comfortably just above halfway in the League and still battling in four cup competitions.

The Argyle defence came under pressure from the first whistle and the home side were in front from as early as the third minute, when Avilla Bergin was on hand to steer home Bianca Baptiste’s low cross at the near post.

A combination of some desperate defending and smart goalkeeping from Rebecca Kyle kept Tottenham at bay until the 22nd minute when they increased their lead courtesy of a 25-yard wonder strike from Bergin.

Argyle slowly got themselves into the game and created one or two opportunities of their own, with debutant Summer Taylor and Ezme Wells both going close as the home side took their 2-0 lead into the break.

Argyle gave as good as they got in the opening exchanges in the second-half and almost reduced the arrears on the hour when Ezme Wells saw her long-range free-kick cannon back off the crossbar.

As the half wore on, Tottenham’s domination began to increase again and Kyle was called upon to make two good saves from Baptiste and Wendy Martin respectively.

The home side’s third goal came in the 75th minute when Argyle’s Ellana Moseley lost possession on the halfway line and Bergin sent Martin racing clear to coolly slot the ball home.

Argyle battled on gamely until the final whistle without really threatening to grab a consolation goal and despite a 10-minute spell of Argyle pressure at the start of the second half, this was a comfortable victory for the home side.

There are now just seven games left for Argyle to save themselves from relegation, five of them at home, with fellow strugglers Forest Green Rovers to come next week in what will be the proverbial relegation six-pointer.     Tottenham Ladies

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