Everton Ladies FC v West Ham United Women
Goals from Jane Ross and Alisha Lehmann saw West Ham United come from behind to secure a huge 2-1 victory away to Everton Ladies on Sunday.
Having gone behind to Claudia Walker’s fifth-minute finish, the Irons were on the back foot early on at the Merseyrail Community Stadium, but levelled on 27 minutes as Ross headed home on the rebound.
Lehmann would strike just moments before the half-time whistle, driving to the edge of the Everton penalty area before striking an effort into the bottom corner from 18 yards.
The Hammers missed chances to add to their advantage, with Ross missing from the penalty spot before Brianna Visalli and Esmee De Graaf both hit the woodwork, while the Toffees had a curling goal ruled out for offside, with West Ham picking up their first FA Women’s Super League away win of the season.
Head coach Matt Beard set his side up in a 3-5-2 formation for Sunday’s encounter, with Ria Percival joining captain Gilly Flaherty and Vyan Sampson in defence, while Erin Simon and De Graaf worked as the full-backs.
Despite the added defensive cover, the Irons conceded the opening goal after just five minutes. Everton released Siri Worm on the left-flank and her low cross was met by Walker. While the striker could not get a clean connection on the ball, it was enough to squeeze an effort past Becky Spencer.
Two quick-fire corners were met by Flaherty, as the Irons chased a leveller, but the skipper failed to get either of her headers on target.
Kate Longhurst won the away side a free-kick on 27 minutes, and the precise cross from Julia Simic was well met by Ross. The Scottish international’s initial header clashed against the crossbar, but the striker showed great awareness to follow up and tuck home to equalise.
A third header from Flaherty almost gave West Ham the lead, only for Everton’s Levell to deny the centre-back with a good save, but the goalkeeper could not stop the Hammers from scoring a second before half-time.
A throw-in was met by Ross, who headed into the path of Lehmann. The 19-year-old trusted her pace, and drove through the Everton defence into a dangerous area, before firing home an unstoppable, low effort.
Lehmann’s finish sent confidence flowing through the West Ham team, which showed in the second period, although the Irons almost conceded on 51 minutes, only for Everton’s finish to be ruled out for offside.
Just moments later, the industrious Visalli won West Ham a penalty-kick, after being brought down in the box. Ross stepped up to take the set-piece and, although the forward’s strike was full of power and confidence, Levell did well to get down and deny the Hammers a third goal.
West Ham then hit the woodwork twice in mere moments. Visalli showed her quality with a swerving strike, which clattered the crossbar. De Graaf was on hand to meet the rebound, but somehow her volley bounced back off the post.
Everton will wonder how they didn’t level when a wicked ball across the West Ham box was missed by two of their attackers, Kaagman and Turner, and Simon and Sampson were both equal to efforts from the home side, throwing their bodies in the way to deny the Toffees.
And, despite six minutes of added time, West Ham were able to hold on and claim all three points away from home.