West Ham United v Crystal Palace Ladies
Karen Ray is delighted with the effort shown by her West Ham United Ladies side despite falling a 2-0 defeat against Crystal Palace.
A late change in opponent saw the Hammers take on the high-flying Eagles in their final match before the festive break, with a deflected shot and a late tap-in giving the away side the victory.
It was a harsh result for West Ham, who looked composed and more than played their part in a competitive fixture, and General Manager and interim head coach Ray couldn’t be prouder of the fighting spirit her team displayed.
“Today the players showed us a different side to their game,” Ray told whufc.com: “We had one training session to work on some defensive organisation and the understanding demonstrated against arguably the best attacking team in the league was undeniable. As a team, we made three mistakes and they capitalised on two of them.
For the majority of the game we frustrated them and made it very difficult for them to get any real momentum...I honestly can’t find many faults in the team’s overall performance.
“To watch the girls outrun, outwork and at times outplay a side like Crystal Palace, who are second in the league, is a huge compliment to the players, but also to the staff who have fully supported the change over the last ten days.
“For the majority of the game we frustrated them and made it very difficult for them to get any real momentum. I am struggling to point out any individuals because nearly everyone gave every last bit of effort, I honestly can’t find many faults in the team’s overall performance.”
With the Ladies now without a contest until mid-January, when the season resumes, Ray reckons the side have proven they are more than ready to climb up the table in the second half of the campaign, with the help of the new first team manager, who is yet to be appointed.
She added: "We can’t deny how disappointed we are with Sunday’s result, but we showed great signs for the future. Palace are a good side on a brilliant run, but we were solid for 98% of the game and I cannot fault the girls for their grit and determination.
"We have a young team who showed plenty of character and a lot of quality, something we had been lacking recently. I am extremely proud of the girls, and the new coach will be walking into a team with a bit of confidence ready to take on the second half of the season.”