Tuesday 13 Feb
Updated Friday 16 Feb 15:37

Ray: Hammers ‘dominated’ against Keynsham Town


Karen Ray is thrilled with how her West Ham United Ladies ‘dominated’ the play in the 7-0 victory over Keynsham Town on Sunday.

The Ladies booked their place in the FA WPL Plate semi-final thanks to a hat-trick from Amber Stobbs, two goals from Leanne Mabey, an early finish by Kelly Wealthall and a late own-goal by the away side.

It wasn’t just the phenomenal attacking display that Ray took pride in, however. The clean-sheet was also worthy of a mention for the interim head coach, with the Hammers undefeated in their six matches in 2018.

“We controlled the game,” Ray insisted. “It is key that we set the tempo and create chances. Today we showed we have depth in the squad as we made two changes to the starting line-up. The players still go the win and dominated the game throughout on our home turf, in front of our own fans.

“Of course, the score line is exciting and I am delighted that we managed to put seven goals away, some of which were extremely brilliantly crafted goals with poised finishes. We showed today that we have the ability to score a wide variety of goals and how clinical we can be at times.

“I think it’s important to recognise that we are also keeping clean sheets at the moment. Dominating in attack is important but not conceding is vital. In the last six games, we have only conceded twice, and scored 23 times.”

Stobbs’s hat-trick, including a sensational second finish, takes the No10 up to 11 goals in all competitions this season, and Ray has hailed the effort and professionalism of the vice-captain both on and off the field.

She continued: “Amber is a very good player, and also a true leader. As our vice-captain, she lives like a professional and it is showing in her performances. The goals and assists she is bringing to games is down to her dedication, not only in training but off the pitch.

Ladies celebrate

“She analyses training sessions and games, she does extra sessions, she gets adequate rest and recovery and she works very hard in training along with everyone else.”

Ray does admit that, despite the vast scoreline, she still wants to see improvements in her side’s performances, although is satisfied with how the team have been playing in recent contests.

“We weren’t at our best today and, after last week’s performance against Crystal Palace, we need to find our grit again. I want the girls to not only get a great score-line but to match that with a magical performance.

“I am admittedly tough on the players, because my expectations are high. I know more than anyone what they are capable of because I see their commitment and hunger in training. They deserve full credit for the turnaround in results and deep down I am in awe of them.”