Ladies secure first win of the season

West Ham Ladies won 3-2 away to local rivals C&K Basildon
West Ham Ladies picked up their first points of the season during a thrilling 3-2 victory away to local rivals C&K Basildon on Wednesday 24 September.
Basildon’s Charlotte Long was given her marching orders in the early stages of the match, before new Italian signing Giulia Ferrandi marked her Hammers’ debut with a fantastic long range strike to put the visitors ahead. Basildon leveled the scores when attacker Amy Nash scored with an equally impressive shot from distance.
After half time, Meagen Doyle headed the hosts into the lead, followed by Ferrandi marring her debut when she was also shown a straight red card for kicking out at an opposition player.
The Hammers turned the game on its head once again when former Millwall Lionesses’ striker Emma Sherwood netted a brace, with ugly scenes in the final stages of the game seeing West Ham defender Kayleigh Xidhas and Basildon’s Doyle also shown red cards for an on-field altercation.
In the Ladies’ first league fixture since their narrow 1-0 defeat to their Essex rivals a fortnight ago, manager Marc Nurse was forced into making four changes. Georgia Miller, Ferrandi and fellow Italian Romina Pinna came into the starting eleven.
Defender Danica Revell missed the game through injury and Paige Anderson-James and Danni Ritson were unavailable after featuring in a behind-closed-doors defeat to Arsenal Ladies Reserves the night before. Shirvae Edwards also made way for Lily Mellors shortly before kick-off.
The first real action of the game was when, after several discussions between the two, Long was sent off for dissent after returning to the referee on several occasions to continue discussing earlier events in a distasteful manner.
Shortly after, the visitors used the advantage to push themselves ahead. After 20 minutes, midfielder Ferrandi picked up the ball around 25 yards and she lashed an unstoppable volley over Basildon keeper Cherie Rowlands and into the net.
Just ten minutes later and the hosts had managed to pull themselves level. In similar fashion to Ferrandi’s opener, it was Nash that netted against the Hammers for her second goal against Nurse’s side in as many weeks.
Into the second half and West Ham couldn’t have asked for any worse. Firstly, centre half Kerry Stimson shown a yellow card within seconds of the second half restarting, before Doyle beat Chauhan to a high ball in the box to head home and give Steve Tilson’s side the lead.
As the clock ticked past the hour mark though, the Hammers fought back and were level when the ball found its way to the feet of Sherwood inside the penalty area and she duly dispatched the ball past Rowlands and into the net.
Ten minutes later and another red card was produced, this time for Ferrandi. After she clashed with a Basildon player, the referee felt he had no choice but to level up the numbers by sending her off.
That wasn’t the end of the action in front of goal as an inspired Hammers launched several attacks to try and find that all-important winning goal.
They got in with just eight minutes left to play when our other new Italian signing, Pinna, used her quick feet to turn past the Basildon defender in the penalty box, only to be tripped for a penalty kick. It was the responsibility of Sherwood to step up and convert, which she did.
The emotions were already running high at the point in the game and it came to blows in the final few minutes when Doyle fouled Stimson and in the process, put a late challenge in on Xidhas. The Hammers full back reacted badly to the challenge and after being separated by a number of teammates, both players were sent off.
The victory takes Nurse’s side above Lewes Ladies, who lost 2-0 at home to Brighton Ladies on Wednesday, and into tenth.
West Ham will look to finish the week with another victory when they host Forest Green Rovers at AFC Hornchurch on Sunday 27 September at 2pm.
LADIES: Chauhan, Bottom, Little (c), Stimson, Xidhas, Ferrandi, Blanchflower, Miller, Mellors (Edwards, 45), Sherwood, Pinna
Subs not used: Parlane, Locke.