Ladies open pre-season in style

West Ham United Ladies opened their pre-season programme with a 5-0 win over Maidstone United Ladies on Sunday.

Goals in the first half from Alma Donohoe and Emma Sherwood put the Hammers on course for victory, before Lily Mellors, captain Stacey Little and Emily Masters made sure of the result in the second period.

New West Ham Ladies manager and former Hammers left back Julian Dicks took charge of the club for the first time in a match situation at Maidstone United's Gallagher Stadium.

Dicks named several members of the side that beat Barking Ladies in the Essex Cup Final back in April in his starting line-up, including defenders Vicki King, Danica Revell and Katie Bottom, with captain Little again lining up alongside Lindsey Morgan in the heart of the midfield.

After a quiet opening to the game, the Hammers started pushing forward and forced several important saves from the home goalkeeper as wide midfielder Zoe Lipley-Hinton and the attacking partnership of Sherwood and Vicky Bruce aimed shots at goal.

The Hammers' pressure increased and they finally broke through when Donohoe picked up the ball and fired a low shot at the Maidstone goal, which found its way through the goalkeeper and into the back on the net.

Just a short while later, West Ham doubled their lead when Sherwood ran unmarked into the box to meet King's right wing cross and head into the back of the net.

After half time the difference between the two sides was really starting to show. West Ham began having long spells of possession, before regularly attempting shots at goal to add to the scoreline.

It was the level of fitness that spoke volumes for the Hammers third goal during the second half as substitute Mellors used her pace to run clear of the home defence and slot past the goalkeeper at the second attempt.

Mellors was then involved in West Ham's fourth goal, putting the home goalkeeper under pressure and blocking her clearance on the edge of the box, before Little finished with a long range strike from 35 yards.

Maidstone worked hard to try and get back into the game, but it Emily Masters put the game to bed late in the second half with a finish to make it 5-0.

The West Ham Ladies' opening league match of the season will be away to QPR Ladies on Sunday 24 August at 2pm, with their first home fixture against Tottenham Hotspur Ladies on Thursday 4 September at 7:45pm.

Please note that West Ham United Ladies have moved their home ground. They no longer play at Thurrock FC's Ship Lane and have moved to Aveley FC.

West Ham United Ladies: Runnicles, King (Powles), Bottom, Morgan (Masters), Baxter, Revell, Bruce (Cleary), Little (c), Sherwood, Lipley-Hinton (Mellors), Donohoe (Kelly).