West Ham United Ladies assistant manager Josh Ewens has hailed both the team spirit and tenacity shown by the side in the 3-1 win against Charlton Athletic.
Heading into Wednesday evening’s contest at The Valley Charlton boasted a 100% record in league football this season, winning all eight of their matches.
However, goals from Paige Anderson-James and Molly Peters – including a sensational lob in the second period – gave West Ham a second consecutive win and their first away points of the campaign.
With this 3-1 win coming just days after a 5-0 defeat of Swindon Town, Ewens reckons the Ladies and the fans are seeing the rewards of a growing team spirit in their camp.
We’re really thrilled with how the Ladies performed. It was a fantastic result. All the girls are buzzing.
“The girls are really becoming a team now,” A beaming Ewens told whufc.com: “There have been new players coming in and they are getting to know each other, their strengths and weaknesses, and they’re becoming a group.
“With that comes a will to work for each other on the pitch, and we’ve seen that in the last few games.
“The most pleasing thing for us in the coaching team is that they stuck to the game plan that we’ve been working on. We highlighted certain things that Charlton would likely try to do against us and the girls worked extremely hard on improving in those areas.
“We’re really thrilled with how they performed. It was a fantastic result. All the girls are buzzing.”
West Ham had the lead at half-time thanks to a goal apiece from Anderson-James and Peters. The first came as the pair linked, allowing Anderson-James to score via the cross-bar after being played through by her strike partner.
The second was created and netted by Peters. Bursting down the right flank, she cut inside and fired a hard shot which also struck the woodwork and then bounced over the line.
Charlton had halved the deficit eight minutes into the second period when a hard effort from range found the top corner, but Peters capped a terrific performance with her second goal, lobbing the goalkeeper.
Ewens was particularly impressed by how his side remained resolute against Charlton’s attacking threat, with the Addicks posing a serious problem in the second half.
He added: “Our defence has been something we’ve worked incredibly hard on. It’s never nice to concede so early in the second half but the way the girls applied themselves was excellent. We were confident we could see out the game, and to add another goal was brilliant.
Ewens also made mention of the coaching staff in his post-match comments.
“The girls have been fantastic and so have the staff. Jackson and Kav, our physios, have been a huge part of it. Miles and Neo, Karen and Greg have all been brilliant, as has Dan. The entire coaching team have put so much effort in and we’re just as delighted as the girls with this win.”