West Ham United Ladies win WPL Plate with Luton victory

WPL plate final

West Ham United Ladies secured their second trophy in two weeks – the FA WPL Plate – with a 5-0 victory over Luton Town Ladies in the final. 

A great goal from Amber Stobbs and a fantastic Kelly Wealthall finish put the Hammers in front at the break, before Ellie Zoepfl made it 3-0 to the Irons just four minutes after the restart. 

Rosie Kmita curled home a terrific finish not long after the hour mark before Zoepfl killed the game in the dying minutes, tucking home and securing the Plate for Karen Ray’s side.

The first period displayed its first shot of the game on eight minutes as captain Kmita fired an effort across goal, which was just wide of the far post. 

Zoepfl next came close for the Irons, sending a header just wide, before some stern Luton defending saw the last defender clear the ball off the line three times in quick succession. 

The deadlock was broken on 25 minutes. Stobbs collected the ball inside Luton territory and turned, driving into space. Her shot from 25 yards found the back of the goal via the crossbar. 

Just four minutes later it was 2-0. An error from Luton’s defence allowed Wealthall to slip in and the 17-year-old, who scored twice in the semi-final win over Hull City, was clinical in adding to the Hammers’ advantage. 

The defence impressed in the first half, keeping Luton largely at bay, although the away side did see an effort kept out by Cara Connatser while also looked dangerous on the counter.

Just a couple of minutes into the second period, the Hammers had their third goal, as Ellie Zoepfl collected possession and calmly slotted under the goalkeeper to increase the Irons’ lead. 

The forward also saw an effort come back off the base of the post, while Kmita’s header was wide from two yards out. 

Luton goalkeeper Kezia Hassall gave a fine account of herself, making crucial stops to deny Kmita, Stobbs and Zoepfl, but eventually the Irons found their fourth through the captain. 

Hassall rushed out to meet a through-ball, challenging Wealthall. The ball fell kindly to Kmita who calmly lobbed the defence from the edge of the penalty area, adding the Hammers’ fourth goal.

Kmita’s finish was West Ham’s 50th goal in 2018 but there was still time for the 51st, as Zoepfl adding a fifth – and her second of the game – late on, sending the WPL Plate back to London with the Ladies.