Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester: Ashleigh Neville scores audacious 40-yard strike

Tottenham Hotspur's Ashleigh Neville

Ashleigh Neville scored a sublime 40-yard screamer during Tottenham Hotspur’s opening Women’s Super League match against Leicester City.

Spurs were frustrated by Leicester for the majority of the first-half at the King Power Stadium, but Neville found a special way to break the deadlock.

The defender received the ball in the middle of the pitch, and with no Leicester players around her, drove forward.

She then looked up and struck the ball over the head of goalkeeper Kirstie Levell. The astonishing strike sparked jubilant celebrations among her teammates.

Neville’s goal then seemed to inspire Drew Spence, who doubled Tottenham’s lead on the stroke of half-time.

The 29-year-old, who was making her debut for the Lilywhites, found herself with the ball from a free-kick outside the penalty box.

Her low drive towards goal evaded Levell and snuck into the bottom left-hand corner.

It wasn’t a perfect debut for Spence, however, with the former Chelsea star turning the ball into her own net in the 58th minute. But Spurs held on to secure a 2-1 victory.

Video: Watch Ashleigh Neville’s astonishing strike for Spurs

Who is Ashleigh Neville?

Neville is not normally known for her goal scoring abilities. Indeed, the right-back has only been on the scoresheet ten times in 100 appearances for Spurs.

She has been a rock in Tottenham’s defence since 2017, however, making a name for herself last season in particular.

Her performances inspired calls from fans for an England call-up, but Neville is yet to be named in a Lionesses squad.

Tottenham Hotspur's Ashleigh Neville
DAGENHAM, ENGLAND – JANUARY 17: Ashleigh Neville of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between West Ham United Women and Tottenham Hotspur Women at Chigwell Construction Stadium on January 17, 2021 in Dagenham, England. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

In the meantime, she will hope to help Tottenham Hotspur to a Champions League place for the first time in the club’s history.

This would require Spurs to finish in the top three of the WSL, with competition from Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City.

The side finished fifth in the WSL last season, but were 10 points off fourth-placed Manchester United.

Tottenham Hotspur's Ashleigh Neville
BARNET, ENGLAND – JANUARY 16: Ashleigh Neville of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Tottenham Hotspur Women and West Ham United Women at The Hive on January 16, 2022 in Barnet, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Women’s Super League opening weekend

Elsewhere in the WSL, both Arsenal and Manchester United triumphed 4-0 against Brighton and Reading respectively.

Aston Villa then won a seven-goal thriller against Manchester City, securing a 4-3 victory, while West Ham edged past Everton 1-0.

Beth Mead, Maya Le Tissier and Rachel Daly have been among the standout stars from the opening weekend of matches.

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