Ladies routed by Rovers

The Hammers came undone against a free-scoring Blackburn Rovers

West Ham United Ladies were knocked out of the FA Women’s Cup Third Round by Blackburn Rovers after a 7-0 defeat on Sunday 7 February.

Having suffered penalty shoot-out heartbreak against Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital Women’s Cup Quarter Final a week earlier, manager Marc Nurse would have hoped for a better response however Sophie Jones, Lynda Shepherd and a brace from Saffron Jordan had the visitors 4-0 up at the break.

The scoreline went from bad to worse when Shepherd added two further goals to seal a hat-trick, before Alica Johnson’s lobbed effort sealed a spot in the fourth round.

Nurse kept faith in the same team that suffered at the hands of the penalty jackpot, with French winger Cindy Ferreria again forming at attacking partnership with Italian Romina Pinna and the speedy Whitney Locke.

In the opening quarter of an hour, the Hammers looked good in possession as they went on the hunt for an early goal.

Unfortunately though, it was Blackburn midfielder Jones that got the opening goal of the game when a stray ball to the edge of the penalty area was headed over Irons’ keeper Lauren Picton and into the back of the net.

It went from bad to worse in the next nine minutes when two further crosses into the penalty area were headed home by Jordan and Shepherd.

Nurse made a quick substitution and replaced New Zealand-born midfielder Rosie Missen with former Millwall Lionesses player Shirvae Edwards, however the onslaught continued as Jordan made it four with a volleyed effort from the edge of the box on the stroke of half time.

During the break, Nurse made his second change with Olivia Sammons being replaced by Chelsea Hinz and the Hammers started the second half brightly.

That was until Shepherd popped up with an outstanding long-ranged effort that gave Picton no chance of keeping out.

The Hammers heads dropped and a third substitution was made when Ferreira was replaced in midfield by Sasha Kelly, who had earned a first team appearance with a number of standout performances at Development Squad level this season.

In the final ten minutes, two lapses in the home defence allowed Rovers to extend their lead to seven when Shepherd headed home from close range to complete her hat-trick, before Johnson’s come-cum-shot caught out Picton in the goal and finished up just entering the net underneath the crossbar.

The Hammers next FA Women’s Premier League South fixture is the visit of Charlton Athletic Women to AFC Hornchurch on Sunday 14 February at 2pm.

LADIES: Picton, Sammons (Hinz), Ritson, Bottom, Wheeler, Missen (Edwards), Abela, Camesi, Pinna, Ferreira (Kelly), Locke

Subs not used: Bradley, Smith.