West Ham United made a successful start to their home campaign in the FA Womens Premier League on Sunday with a 3-1 win over neighbours Millwall Lionesses at Thurrock.
Goals from Jess Barling, Gemma Shepherd and Kelly Blanchflower did the
Millwall came close to opening the scoring in the fourth minute when Egle Trezzi's quick reactions enabled her to get a close range shot in, the ball hit the underside of the bar and bounced away allowing keeper Kelly Cooper to clear the danger.
But, despite the slow start the Hammers took control of the game by the break by which time Jess Barling had opened the scoring on the half hour when having made a fine run down the left flank, she cut inside and sent over a cross which became a shot, it looped over the head of the Millwalll keeper Deborah Cole and fell into the far corner of the net.
The game continued to flow from end to end and in the 44th minute Gemma Shepherd received the ball from a Barling throw in with her back to the goal she turned and volleyed the ball sweetly into the top corner of the net leaving the keeper with no chance.
The second spell saw the Hammers add a third on 73 minutes as some slick one touch passing opened a route to goal for Kelley Blanchflower who delicately chipped home from 15 yards.A late consolation for the visitors arrived following a game of head tennis in the Hammers penalty area as they failed to clear their lines from a well delivered corner but by then the points were safely in the bag.