West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur
West Ham United Women claimed their first ever league victory over rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon, as Dagný Brynjarsdóttir scored the games only goal in a 1-0 victory at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
In a cagey affair in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, Brynjarsdóttir's controlled finish was the difference in the end, as the home side moved up to 5th in the league.
Olli Harder made one change to the West Ham United side that drew 2-2 with Reading in their last league outing.
Brynjarsdóttir came into the midfield in place of Abbey-Leigh Stringer, who dropped to the bench
Both Kate Longhurst and Lisa Evans were fit enough to start – having both been doubts due to going off injured last weekend against the Royals.
The away side had the first chance of the game, with Australian forward Kyah Simon firing over from just inside the box.
It was a cagey opening ten minutes, in truth, with both sides handing over possession too often, which restricted either side from having any rhythm with their play.
Brynjarsdóttir pounced on a loose pass from the Spurs backline, feeding Katerina Svitkova who in turn tried to play in Yui Hasegawa, but the Japanese international couldn’t get the ball under her spell and the away side cleared up.
And Hasegawa was heavily involved again moments later, when her shot from outside the area flew over the crossbar.
After around 20 minutes, the Hammers looked more likely to open the scoring, with Lisa Evans being denied by Spurs goalkeeper, Tinja Korpela, who raced off her line to beat the forward to the ball.
The game was stopped for around five minutes as Kit Graham left the pitch on a stretcher after an innocuous challenge by Kate Longhurst.
There was little in the way of clear-cut chances for either side, but perhaps Rachel Williams will be disappointed that she didn’t find the net before half-time. Her header from a corner landed narrowly wide of the post.
In the second half, the battle for supremacy continued, but the final pass was lacking for both sides.
Chances were at a premium, but the home side continued to work hard on a bitterly cold afternoon at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Ashleigh Neville went close for the visitors with 65 minutes on the clock, but her effort from outside the area zipped past the post.
Tameka Yallop responded two minutes later by firing her own effort only a whisker wide of the post. The Australia midfielder caught the volley superbly.
The deadlock was finally broken two minutes after Yallop’s chance. The ball fell kindly for Brynjarsdottir, who fired the ball beyond Korpela to give the east Londoners the lead.
Svitkova almost extended the lead, but her superbly struck shot from a long way out was beaten away by Korpela.
Spurs did have the net soon after, but Chioma Ubogagu’s strike was eventually ruled out for offside.
And the Hammers battled the remaining 10 minutes out with tenacity, and claimed their first WSL win over Spurs, and maintained their unbeaten run at home!
West Ham United: Arnold, Flaherty (c), Cissoko, Fisk, Svitkova, Brynjarsdóttir, Yallop, Hasegawa, Longhurst, Evans (Filis 90), Walker (Stringer 70).
Substitutes: Leat, Wyne, Parker, Joel, Cairns, Garrad.
Goal: Brynjarsdóttir 69
Tottenham Hotspur: Korpela, Bartrip, Harrop, Cho (Addison 46), Williams, Percival, Ale, Graham (Ubogagu 35, Naz 87), Simon (Ayane 72), Clemaron, Neville.
Substitutes: Heeps, Morgan, Green, Ayane.