Ladies take control

West Ham United Ladies 2-0 Yeovil Town Ladies

Two first-half goals from Emma Thomas were enough to earn West Ham United the points against Yeovil Town and stretch their lead at the top of the FA Womens Premier League South to six points.

The Hammers took the lead early in the first half after Thomas struck her first of the season and she rounded out a good afternoon's work with a penalty just before half-time. 

The visitors began brightly but debutant goalkeeper Nikki Duncan, in for the suspended Toni-Anne Wayne, calmed any early nerves with a full stretch diving save from an early free kick. The Hammers were soon ahead as Thomas snuck inside the box to beat her marker to the ball and confidently turn home Gemma Shepherd's cross on 17 minutes.

Long-range efforts from Shepherd and Becky Merritt did not unduly trouble the visitors keeper as the Hammers failed to turn territorial advantage into goals. At the back, Rosey Sullivan and Nat Grafton were more than able to snuff out the threat of Jemma Tewkesbury, Yeovil's free scoring centre-forward, who was later to limp out of the action after taking a knock.

The Hammers had doubled their advantage with the best move of the game. A series of passes were played between Clare Rogers, Shepherd and Jess Barling down the left flank before Rogers' cross found Thomas, having switched to the right wing, at the far post to sweep home.

Yeovil came out strongly for the start of the second half and found the outside of the post with a 25-yard drive but confident handling from Duncan and an assured performance from the back four kept clear-cut chances to a minimum.

Thomas worked hard to find a third to compete her hat-trick but was denied by two fine saves from the Yeovil keeper. First she outpaced the back line before her shot was blocked and she then saw a back-post effort clawed away for a corner.

A late penalty shout for the Hammers which saw substitute Maddie Thomas carried off only seconds after coming on was waived away by the referee but her namesake's double strike had already been enough to safely secure the points for the Hammers.

West Ham United: Nikki Duncan, Jo Woodgates, Jess Barling, Nat Grafton, Rosey Sullivan, Clare Rogers, Carly Roache, Jo Wosahlo, Emma Thomas, Gemma Shepherd, Becky Merritt. Subs: Tracey Duxbury, Maddie Thomas, Ruby Southgate, Leigh Houlihan