West Ham United Ladies general manager Karen Ray has expressed her pride at the intensity, commitment and effort shown by her side in the 13-0 victory against Margate.
Four goals apiece from Ellie Zoepfl and Amber Stobbs, as well as braces from Rosie Kmita and Andria Georgiou and a finish by Zoe Swift earned the Hammers an unforgettable win at Hartsdown Park.
Having led 4-0 at half-time, the Irons refused to take their foot off the pedal and proceeded to net another nine times in the second period.
And Ray – taking charge of her first match as interim first team manager – could not be more pleased with what she saw from the team.
This win was all about the players. They deserved to earn themselves a convincing result. The staff and I couldn’t be prouder of the reaction showed after a tough few weeks
“Midweek away games are always tough,” Ray told whufc.com. “Players have full time jobs so driving two hours after a long day at work can make it hard to focus. However, we can’t fault the effort and intensity they demonstrated.
“This win was all about the players. They deserved to earn themselves a convincing result. The staff and I couldn’t be prouder of the reaction showed after a tough few weeks. They dug deep, rallied around each other and played some beautiful football.”
Ray singled out new signing Zoepfl for praise after the American gave what was arguably her most complete performance since joining the Hammers.
The 24-year-old netted four times and was a constant threat to the Margate defence, and Ray has praised Zoepfl’s versatility as well as the creativity of her entire team.
She continued: “If you look at the type of goals we scored, they’re not all the same. We showed our ability to be creative and relentless in the final third.
“Ellie showed how versatile she is; not only posing a threat in attacking areas by linking up well with the midfielders but also making runs in behind. A side to her game we hadn’t yet had a chance to see.
“I thought we used the pitch really well and made it tough for Margate to have any possession - winning the ball back early and then working through their lines quickly making it difficult for them. The second half we didn’t take our foot off the gas and total credit to the players. You could see the confidence in their performance."
Attention now turns to the league contest against Crystal Palace on Sunday at Rush Green.
Palace currently sit fourth in the Women’s Premier League Southern Division and have proven to be a tricky test this campaign.
But Ray is confident her side have the talent and belief to best this Eagles this weekend.
Ray added: “Our focus now switches to Crystal Palace on Sunday, who will pose a very different threat. It’s tough to only have one training session to prepare but I believe in this team and their desire to pick up points.”
Sunday’s Ladies match with Crystal Palace kicks off at 2pm at the Rush Green Training Facility, and West Ham United season ticket holders and Claret Members can attend this fixture for free!
Fans under the age of 16 can also watch the Ladies play the Eagles for free this Sunday, while general admittance is just £2!