West Ham United Ladies suffered a 4-0 defeat to Coventry United at AFC Hornchurch on Sunday 28 February.
The visitors fired all four goals past Hammers keeper Jodie Sanderson within the opening half an hour of action, with Helen Dermody’s brace from distance being joined by a long-range free-kick from Maz Gauntlett and Nat Lynch’s header.
Manager Marc Nurse made four changes to the side that were beaten at home to Charlton Athletic Women just a fortnight before. Italian winger Romina Pinna announced earlier on Sunday that she has left the club and hence was unavailable for selection, whilst Natalie Strange, Danni Ritson and Olivia Sammons were replaced by U18 striker Aysha Bentick, midfielder Karen Ray, French winger Cindy Ferreira and debutant Laura Curtis.
In the opening five minutes of the game, the hosts knew they were going to be in for a tough game when Coventry came out strong and forced a strong save from goalkeeper Sanderson.
It took just seven minutes before the home defence succumbed to Coventry’s pressure as a 20 yard free-kick was dispatched into the top left corner of the net by Dermody.
West Ham tried reacted by getting more possession after the initial opening onslaught however it was Dermody that doubled the scoreline when she picked up the ball from a similar position and fired an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net.
Still the Hammers players tried to push their visitors back and ignite some attacking moves of their own, although Gauntlett added a third in a similar style to Dermody’s opener, firing home a free-kick from over 20 yards into the top corner.
The third goal was a killer as Dermody swung in a corner which was headed home by Lynch for Coventry’s fourth, despite the best efforts of Sanderson.
The Hammers first meaningful effort on goal came in the 41st minute through French winger Ferreira who could only find the gloves of visiting goalkeeper Sue Wood.
After the break, Nurse’s side looked revitalized and headed out in search of a consolation goal.
It was Whitney Locke who had the first chance of goal, but her effort was caught easily by Wood.
Then, shortly after, Locke again found herself in behind the Coventry defence, but a tough angle was always against her and Wood made another save.
Still the Ladies searched for a consolation goal and their best effort of the game came when Locke slipped a ball through to Ferreira but her shot was also stopped by Wood.
Down the other end, Coventry went close to adding a fourth when Jade Brooke’s rifled shot smashed the underside of the crossbar and clear, with both the referee and assistant in agreement that the ball had not crossed the line.
West Ham’s much-improved second half ended with debutant Curtis having a couple of efforts of her own.
The Ladies host rivals Tottenham Hotspur in their FA Women’s Premier League South match at Upton Park on Tuesday 8 March at 7:45pm - the first competitive Women’s Premier League match to be played at the Boleyn Ground.
Before then, the Hammers host Portsmouth at AFC Hornchurch on Sunday 6 March, kick-off 2pm.
LADIES: Sanderson, Missen, Wheeler, Bentick, Bottom (c), Abela (Campesi), Ray, Berkeley (Ritson), Ferreira (Sammons), Locke, Curtis
Subs not used: Hinz.