Alisha Lehmann 14
Emily Van Egmond 52
Rachel Daly 57
West Ham United v Reading
West Ham United 3-0 Reading
FA Women’s Continental League Cup – Group D
Wednesday 4 November
Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium
West Ham United secured a first win of the 2020/21 season in sizzling style, seeing off Reading 3-0 in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup group stages.
Inspired by a bistering performance by Martha Thomas, who registered a hat-trick of assists in the midweek game, goals by Alisha Lehmann, Emily van Egmond and Rachel Daly earned Matt Beard’s Irons a thoroughly deserved victory.
A near flawless performance was on show across the pitch for the home side, with goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold denying Lauren Bruton from the penalty spot with the Hammers one goal up. Danielle Caret would also pull an effort wide from 12 yards, when Reading were awarded another spot-kick in the second period.
Amidst the icy grips of early winter, it was the Irons who took the lead with the first real effort of the match.
Gilly Flaherty, pressured at the back by Reading’s front-line, played an exquisite ball forward, finding Martha Thomas racing away from the defence and into a one-one situation with Grace Maloney. Unselfishly, the Scottish international tapped the ball sideways, allowing Lehmann to sweep home her first goal of the season.
Buoyed by the advantage, West Ham pressed for a second, with Laura Vetterlein fiercely driving an effort from distance that was deflected away, before Emily van Egmond saw her header go narrowly wide at the near post.
The away side’s press to equalise was almost rewarded on 34 minutes when Rachel Daly brought down Emma Mitchell in the box. Penalty for Reading. Up stepped Lauren Bruton, looking to score at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium again against the Hammers, as she did in October.
The spot-kick was taken, but Makenzie Arnold was down quickly, getting two assured hands to the effort.
Katerina Svitkova powered a strike straight at Maloney before Reading had a huge chance to get back into the game on the stroke of half-time, with Danielle Carter shooting across goal.
As with the first half, West Ham’s first attack of the period led to a goal. Once again, Thomas was in space to receive the ball. The No9, inside the area, look to once again square to set up Lehmann. This time, the ball went past the Swiss international, ending up at the feet of Van Egmond, who made no mistake from close range.
Reading’s quest to get back into the game once again took them to the penalty spot, as Mitchell was again adjudged to have been fouled, this time by Joel. Danielle Carter opted to take the spot-kick. She shot from 12 yards, and the ball went wide.
A frantic opening spell of the second half saw the Irons’ third come before the hour mark. A sensational ball by Lehmann found Thomas, who completed her hat-trick of assists to allow Daly to comfortably put away her third goal of the season.
With the Lionesses’ finish, the result was secured, giving the Hammers five points from two Group D matches played, putting the side top with just one game to play.
West Ham United: Arnold; Joel (Leon 59), Flaherty (c), Fisk, Vetterlein; Cho, Van Egmond, Svitkova (Longhurst 80); Daly, Thomas (Nor 69), Lehmann (Kiernan 80)
Subs not used: Brosnan, Redisch, Cissoko, Grant, Dali
Goals: Lehmann 14, Van Egmond 52, Daly 57
Reading: Moloney; Mitchell, Bartrip (Leine 64), Harding, Cooper, Fishlock, Rowe (Harries 71), James, Eikeland, Carter, Bruton (Chaplen 61)
Subs not used: Nayler, Jeon, Woodham, Skeels, Childerhouse, Quirk
Lauren Bruton misses penalty 34
Danielle Carter misses penalty 55