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2013-09-30T15:00:00 Updated 2015-02-18T23:53:09

Ladies suffer late defeat

West Ham United Ladies suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 FA Women's Premier League Southern Division defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

The Hammers travelled to the Withdean Stadium unbeaten in their previous three league matches and looked likely to collect another valuable point until Kim Whitcombe popped up to score an 89th-minute winner for the the Seagulls.

Brighton had started the game well as Kim Stenning raced through one-on-one with goalkeeper Toni-Anne Wayne, but the Hammers stopper made herself big to deny the home forward. Wayne was then called into action minutes later to deny Lily Agg, when her angled drive was tipped away.

West Ham themselves posed a threat on the counter-attack, as Kelley Blanchflower's cross narrowly missed three forwards inside the box, but it was Brighton who continued to create the most chances before half-time. Agg's header was caught by Wayne before Kate Natkiel's long-range strike sailed just wide of the target.

Into the second half and Albion goalkeeper Lucy Mangan was called into action, superbly tipping away a header from a West Ham set-piece. Wayne then took centre-stage again, making a fine stop to deny Stenning.

The Hammers nearly stole the points themselves, but captain Becky Merritt's speculative effort from distance narrowly cleared the crossbar with just three minutes left.

The Seagulls nicked all three points with just a minute of normal time remaining. MIdfielder Charlotte Owen threaded in a superb ball into the path of fellow substitute Whitcombe, who clinically fired home to claim the points.

Mark Saunderson's side will hope for better luck when they host Tottenham Hotspur at Thurrock FC's Ship Lane on Sunday 6 October, with kick-off at 2pm.

Ladies: Wayne, Reed, Morgan, Merritt, Mellors (King 58), Little, Kelly (Bottom 68), Crinean, Albert, Blanchflower, Bowers
Subs not used: Lipley-Hinton, Page

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