Claudia Walker 9
Claudia Walker (OG) 43
Emily van Egmond 73
Birmingham City v West Ham United
Birmingham City 1-2 West Ham United
Barclays FA Women’s Super League
Sunday 8 November 2020
Emily van Egmond’s deft header secured a comeback 2-1 win for West Ham United away at Birmingham City.
Van Egmond’s finish, from Rachel Daly’s brilliant cross, came after Adriana Leon’s well-placed ball into the box had been deflected into her own net by Birmingham’s Claudia Walker later in the first period.
The striker had given the Blues the lead on nine minutes with a one-on-one finish, but the Hammers were able to come back and score twice to deservedly claim the three points and a first Barclays FA Women’s Super League win of the campaign.
It was the home side who took the lead early on, netting with their first attack of the game. A ball over the top from Mollie Green exploited the defensive high-line. Walker found the space in behind, collecting the ball before pushing it past Mackenzie Arnold and into the corner.
Birmingham’s ninth-minute lead spurred West Ham forward, with a good pass through to Martha Thomas allowing the striker to set up Alisha Lehmann. The No7’s low strike was kept out by Hannah Hampton’s knee.
For all of West Ham’s pressing, the Blues nearly doubled their lead on 22 minutes. Full-back Sarah Mayling latched onto the diagonal pass, pinging an effort that rebounded back into the play from the base of the far post.
The Irons threatened from set plays. Twice, Rachel Daly corners fell for Adriana Leon. The Canadian saw one volleyed rocket expertly saved, while the second went over the bar.
With two minutes left in the first period, West Ham got the breakthrough. Daly’s short free-kick was played into a dangerous area by Leon and, under pressure from Thomas, Birmingham goalscorer Walker could only turn it into her own net.
The second period almost started in the same vein as the first, with Walker striking from distance. The swerving ball evaded Arnold, rattling the woodwork.
Daly would then turn an effort over the bar for the away side before goalkeeper Hampton almost gifted West Ham an equaliser, passing the ball straight to Leon. The Canadian’s left-footed effort, however, was kept out.
Thomas nearly completed a fantastic team move on the hour mark, by curling a long-ranged rocket agonisingly wide of the far post, but the Irons kept pushing and eventually got a deserved lead. Daly’s deep, well-placed cross was met by Van Egmond, who deftly headed in her second goal in two games and her team’s second of the match.
Substitute Kenza Dali fired a piledriver just over the bar moments later. Despite the home team’s press into the closing moments, West Ham held for a well-earned victory.
Birmingham City: Hampton; Brougham, Scott, Green (Whipp 65), Mayling (Kelly 35); Napier (Lawley 87), Corsie, Murray (c), Holloway, Scofield, Walker
Subs not used: McCarron, Toussaint,
Goal: Walker 9,
West Ham United: Arnold; Daly, Flaherty (c), Fisk, Vetterlein; Cho, Van Egmond, Svitkova (Dali 52); Lehmann (Kiernan 64), Thomas (Longhurst 80), Leon
Subs not used: Brosnan, Joel, Redisch, Cissoko, Grant, Nor
Goals: Walker (OG) 43, Van Egmond 73