Ladies regain top spot

West Ham United Ladies returned to the top of the FA Tesco Women's Premier League South with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Queens Park Rangers.

After suffering back-to-back defeats for just the second time this season in their previous two matches - losing top spot in the league and being knocked out of the FA Women's Cup in the process - Julia Setford's side returned to winning ways in convincing fashion.

Carly Roache opened the scoring, collecting a Gemma Shepherd (pictured) pass before curling a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner from 16 yards.

West Ham continued to dominate and twice hit the woodwork before being awarded a penalty for a push on Nina Downham. Shepherd stepped up confidently to sidefoot the ball inside the right-hand post and beyond the dive of goalkeeper Emily Bourne.

The scoring was completed ten minutes into the second half when Jess Barling swung a left-footed corner into the goal-mouth. Bourne looked to have made the catch, only to drop the ball into the net.

The Hammers could have added a fourth with ten minutes remaining when Downham was again challenged unfairly inside the QPR penalty area, only for Jo Wosahlo to shoot wide of the post from 12 yards.

Manager Setford was pleased with both the result and the strong all-round performance put in by her players as they continue their quest for a first-ever FA Tesco Women's Premier League South title.

"It was brilliant," she said. "We went at them from the start and didn't let up from the first muinute of the game. We closed every ball down and worked hard. That was a great team performance. Everyone worked hard for each other.

"That was a first-class performance. If we play like that week-in week-out, I don't see what we have to worry about.

"The girls know what is in sight. There is a big prize up for grabs and these girls have been waiting a very long time to get their hands on it. They are focused.

"Each week, we tell them what to do and they do it. They really put it in and in every game they are working hard because they want that league title so much."

West Ham take a break from league action on Thursday evening, when they face Hutton in the Essex FA County Cup final at AFC Hornchurch, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Following that engagement at Bridge Avenue, the Hammers go to second-placed Charlton on Sunday for a match that could go a long way towards deciding the destiny of the league title.