First-half performance cost Ladies against Crystal Palace – De Carnys

Greg de Carnys

West Ham United Ladies’ first half performance cost them the chance to progress through the County Cups in the 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace, according to Greg de Carnys.

A dubious penalty and a close-ranged goal put the Hammers two goals down heading into half-time, and while substitute Julie Melfald halved the deficit on 74 minutes, a late finish secured Palace’s victory and eliminated the Irons.

While the Ladies put in a lively and encouraging performance in the second half the first period was cause for concern for first team manager De Carnys, who has called on his team to play to their full potential for the full 90 minutes.

And the coach says lessons need to be learned from Sunday’s cup defeat.

I’m disappointed because, in the second half, we showed we’ve got better players than were on display in the first.

Greg de Carnys

“We are disappointed with our performance in the first half,” De Carnys told “We need to be prepared to up our game more from the start. It shouldn’t come from anything that happens at half-time. It shouldn’t come from me, it should come from the girls, and that’s something that we’ve had a stern word about in the changing room.

“The second half we upped our game and there were higher levels of performance from individuals on the pitch. I’m disappointed because, in the second half, we showed we’ve got better players than were on display in the first.

“Performing at a high level is not easy. It requires the players to be really well prepared and doing things off the pitch right as well. As we talk about the Club progressing and becoming more professional these are lessons that the players have to learn quickly.”

The side was also disrupted by a number of injury set-backs both before and during the match. Molly Peters missed the game through injury while Paige Anderson-James and Rosie Kmita, who started the last match, were only fit enough for the bench.

Amy Cooper

Anderson-James was brought on for Andreya Ezekiel-Meade early on as the forward struggled with a knock, but the substitute had to be taken off again at half-time due to a recurrence of her problem. Kelly Wealthall, who started up front in Peters’s absence, also was withdrawn at the interval due to an injury.

De Carnys added: “We had to make changes to the starting XI due to injuries. Rosie [Kmita] and Paige [Anderson-James] were on the bench but Molly [Peters] couldn’t feature.

“Then we had to bring off Andreya [Ezekiel-Meade] because she was struggling. Paige came on but could only play the rest of the first half before we needed to substitute her as well. Add to that losing Kelly [Wealthall] and that’s all our options used before 46 minutes is on the clock.

“That obviously exasperates a difficult afternoon but we will assess the severity of these knocks this week.”

de cranes

While De Carnys feels his Ladies gave a poor account of themselves in the first half the opening goal – a penalty kick – did not help matters.

The referee had initially awarded a free-kick but a quick consultation with his linesman saw the official change his mind and give the penalty.

De Carnys admits he didn’t have the clearest view of the incident but feels the decision to give a spot-kick was harsh.

“I was quite a way from the incident but from where I looked I had the same feeling as the referee – that the foul was outside the box. I think the linesman has given it after.”