Ladies look back on eventful season

In a season of special achievements, the West Ham Ladies look back at the season's highlights
In a season of special achievements from across the club, the West Ham United Ladies contributed to the Farewell Boleyn send off by beating arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 thanks to Captain Katie Bottom’s penalty.

Speaking at the Club’s annual Player Awards, the goal-scoring hero said: “The game at Upton Park was amazing, it was the biggest crowd we’ve ever had and we managed to beat one of our closest rivals Spurs so it was a great result.

“We’ve not had much luck with them this season so to win the most important one was great.

“We didn’t start too great, but we finished it off with some solid results and hopefully we’ll use that to springboard our campaign next year.”

After an initial slow start to the campaign which saw one win in the opening four competitive games, the Hammers soon clicked in to gear recording an emphatic 8-0 away win at Burgess Hill Town.

This result proved to be the catalyst as the Ladies enjoyed further cup success away at Crystal Palace with a 2-1 win.

A difficult February ensued with heavy defeats at the hands of Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth, however the Hammers turned their run of results around at their historic meeting with rivals Spurs.

In front of a bumper crowd, the hosts edged their opponents in a tight and often tense game.

Recounting the night, right-back Danni Ritson said: “That game was unreal, one of the best nights of my career, easily.

“That night was also my 21st birthday, so yeah it was amazing!”

With the 15/16 campaign over, all attentions have already turned to next season, and the Hammers are optimistic about their chances.

As Hannah Wheeler explained: “As a team, we like to think we have a bit of banter, we’re a little bit like Leicester! We’re going to get into the Super League, which would be an amazing achievement.”

Striker Whitney Locke said she also believes the team spirit will continue to keep Marc Nurse’s side in good stead.

She said: “Team bonding has been the main improvement, the team spirit is much better than it was last season that has really helped us.”

Having come to the end of the competitive season, the Ladies face a series of friendlies, the first of which they won 5-1 away at Peterborough United on Saturday 21 May.

Captain Katie Bottom finished by restating her belief that the Hammers’ future is looking bright: “We’d like to challenge the teams near the top of the league, we’re not going to say we’re going to go out there and win the league because that is possibly unrealistic, but look at Leicester, who knows? We’d love a top five finish.”