Ladies stun Spurs under the lights

Captain Katie Bottom sealed a 1-0 win on a historic night at the Boleyn

West Ham United Ladies marked International Women’s Day by beating local rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Upton Park, with captain Katie Bottom scoring in a 1-0 win.

 It was the first time that the Boleyn Ground had ever hosted an FA Women’s Premier League match under the lights and plenty of Hammers and Spurs fans braved the cold weather to cheer on both sets of teams.

West Ham fan and Foundation coach Bottom was handed the chance to realise her dreams as she led her team mates out onto the famous turf - leading a defence that also contained vice-captain Hannah Wheeler, left back Olivia Sammons and right back Danni Ritson, who had even more to celebrate as the game was played on her 21st birthday.

In the first half, the Hammers looked like a completely different team to the one that has suffered disappointing league defeats in recent weeks, with Gemma Abela, Rosie Missen and Karen Ray controlling possession in the middle of the park.

Up front, French winger Cindy Ferreira and former Development Squad top scorer Whitney Locke used their pace to panic their north London opponents.

The best chance of the half fell to Spurs striker Wendy Martin, but she failed to keep her shot down.

Down the other end, former Hammer and current Spurs keeper Toni-Anne Wayne’s clearance only travelled as far as Ray, who went to line up an audacious shot from distance, although the ball unfortunately hit her on the knee and was cleared.

After the break, the Hammers came out with a buzz and could have led when Ferreira raced through on goal just minutes into the half, although she rushed her effort and fired narrowly over the crossbar.

Spurs weathered the storm and actually managed to force the ball into the back of the West Ham net shortly before the hour mark, but the assistant referee’s flag halted any celebrations.

It was West Ham that took the lead though, when fantastic play by substitute Laura Curtis won the home side a penalty, with Bottom stepping up as captain to send Wayne the wrong way and bury into the corner.

The visitors went looking for an instant equaliser, but the hosts could have made it two when Ferreira fired over from 18 yards after latching onto a Locke cross.

Spurs responded by putting plenty of pressure onto the home defence, but the Hammers stood strong.

In the closing stages, West Ham tried their hardest to search for a goal that would put the result beyond doubt, although Spurs continued to rally forward.

The referee finally blowed his full time whistle and Nurse’s side celebrated a well-earned three points and a return to winning ways.

Nurse’s side will be hoping that Tuesday night’s result will inspire them as they host high-flying Cardiff City at AFC Hornchurch on Sunday 13 March at 2pm.

LADIES: Griffins, Ritson, Bottom (c), Wheeler, Sammons, Abela (Curtis), Missen, Ray, Campesi, Ferreira (Hinz), Locke (Berkeley). Subs not used: Turner, Kelly.