West Ham Ladies kick-off pre-season with six-goal success
West Ham United Ladies began their preparations for the new FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division campaign with a 6-0 pre-season win over Crawley Wasps.
New signings Molly Peters and Amber Stobbs were both on target, while Kelly Wealthall scored twice and Charlotte Long, Chloe Burr and Paige Anderson-James also found the net.
Manager Greg de Carnys praised his players for their approach to their first pre-season match and their ruthlessness at both ends of the pitch.
“It's obviously great to score six goals from five different goalscorers and to keep a clean sheet too, but the most pleasing thing was the performance,” he told whufc.com.
“We started the game really well, our movement and decision-making was all at a high intensity and we saw lots of the things we want to see in the way we played. There was some excellent possession play today and some very good finishes so that's really pleasing.
“Crawley proved a good test at this stage of the season and we're really grateful to them. There's still plenty for us to do and I know the players and the staff can't wait to get back on the training pitch this week.”
It's obviously great to score six goals from five different goalscorers and to keep a clean sheet too, but the most pleasing thing was the performance
Greg de Carnys
The Ladies started the game with high intensity to go 3-0 up within 15 minutes on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Beckton.
Peters slotted home the opener before former Women’s Super League player Stobbs showed her class by weaving between two defenders and lobbing the goalkeeper from 25 yards. Long then celebrated her return to football with an unstoppable header from a teasing corner.
In control, the Ladies comfortably dominated possession against their London and South East Women's Regional Football League opponents before De Carnys made a number of substitutions at half-time.
Wealthall, who joins the first-team squad this season after coming through the Ladies Academy pathway, bagged herself a brace and showed her tenaciousness in front of goal. Then, as full-time approached, Anderson-James proved to be too strong for the Crawley Wasps defenders as she twisted her way through with close footwork before firing into the bottom corner.
There was still time for Whitney Locke to hit the crossbar, but a six-goal victory will undoubtedly boost morale and confidence ahead of Sunday’s second pre-season fixture at Fulham Ladies on Sunday 23 July at 2.30pm.
However, De Carnys is not going to allow his players to get carried away with their opening-weekend win.
“I'm very happy with the progress we've made so far, but it's still very early days,” he observed. “We've been training hard and we're hoping to gradually and progressively improve in every sense as we go through pre-season and into the season. It's not about hitting the players with a hard block of intense training in pre-season straight off the back of the summer break.
“A progressive approach to improvement will mean players can adapt but don't break down because of a sudden increase in load.”