Ladies lift Shield

West Ham United Ladies lifted their first piece of silverware of 2012/13 by winning the Essex FA Charter Standard Shield.

The Hammers dominated the event at the Selex Club in Basildon, winning all five of their matches at the round-robin tournament.

Julia Setford's side opened with high scoring 9-0 victory against Hutton in their opening game before a more subdued 1-0 victory over C and K Basildon Reserves. A 5-0 victory aganst Beacon Hill Rovers and a 4-0 win over Little Thurrock Dynamos set up a final game against old rivals Colchester United, who also arrived with a four wins out of four record.

Colchester got the better of West Ham in last season's Essex FA County Cup competition, but this time It was the Hammers who came on out on top. A Kelley Blanchflower goal gave Setford's team a 1-0 victory, ensuring stand-in goalkeeper Jo Wosahlo had kept a clean sheet throughout the tournament.

West Ham complete their pre-season schedule with two more tough tests against National Division opposition. The Ladies return to action when they host Aston Villa at Ship Lane on Sunday 5 August.

A week later, on Sunday 12 August, the Hammers travel to Charlton Athletic before commencing their FA Women's Premier League Southern Division campaign at Millwall Lionesses on Sunday 19 August. All three fixtures will kick-off at 2pm.

Last weekend, the reserve team were also in action in their opening pre season fixture and emerged 2-1 winers over C and K Basildon's first team. Zoe Lipley-Hinton smashed home from ten yards to open the scoring, but the Hammers were pegged back in the second half before Amber Matthews stabbed home from close range three minutes for time to earn the win.

Finally, the Ladies' Under-16 side are still looking for players for the forthcoming season in the Essex County Girls Football League. Players interested in joining last season's champions should contact Lea Hodges via [email protected] giving previous playing history and position. Players should be going into either Year 10 or Year 11 in September to meet age requirements.