Wealthall scores hat-trick as Hammers put seven past Portsmouth
An excellent hat-trick for Kelly Wealthall helped West Ham United Ladies claim an incredible 7-1 victory at Rush Green against Portsmouth.
The Irons took the lead thanks to a Hannah Wheeler header in the first period, before Wealthall got her first of the game on 25 minutes. Rosie Kmita then made it three before half-time with a great goal from the edge of the area.
Defender Jasmine Auguste got her first of the season from a corner after half-time and Wealthall added her second with a cheeky finish on the hour mark.
Portsmouth found their way back into the game as a free-kick crept in on 80 minutes, before Cara Connatser superbly denied the away side a second from the penalty spot.
Leanne Mabey then netted from another corner before Wealthall completed her hat-trick late on.
It was the away side that came close to drawing first blood as Portsmouth hit the woodwork direct from a corner in just the third minute of the contest, although West Ham were comfortable in clearing the lines.
On 14 minutes the Hammers took the lead. A corner played into the area was well met by defender Wheeler, who headed into the back of the net.
Wealthall and Ellie Zoepfl both came close for the Irons, with the latter striking the cross-bar with a header, before she turned provider for the 17-year-old forward. Zoepfl’s shot was well saved by Levett but Wealthall was on hand to coolly tuck the rebound away.
The Irons continued to play beautiful football in the sunshine at Rush Green, and added a third finish just three minutes before half-time.
Once again Zoepfl was heavily involved and this time her low cross was missed by all of Portsmouth’s defenders. Captain Kmita collected the ball on the edge of the area, and curled home a sensational effort into the bottom corner.
Ten minutes into the second period Auguste scored her first goal of the season, with the Hammers again finding success from a set-piece. The left-back headed into the goal with a looping effort.
Just five minutes later and Karen Ray’s side had five! It was a very smart finish from Wealthall, with the youngster doubling her tally with a cheeky back-heeled effort, after Zoepfl’s shot was saved.
Portsmouth found a foothold in the game on 80 minutes, albeit in mildly controversial scenes, as the linesman ruled that McLachlan’s free-kick had crossed the line. Despite protests from the West Ham players, the goal was given.
It looked like the away side would add a second just two minutes later after the referee ruled that a foul had been committed in the box, giving Portsmouth a penalty. However, Connatser made a sensational stop to deny Panting.
Substitute Leanne Mabey found the goal with a header with five minutes to go, before Wealthall secured her deserved hat-trick from the same position in the dying embers of the game.
West Ham United Ladies: Connatser; Mackie, Wheeler, Austin (Sampson 64’), Auguste; Georgiou (Mabey 64’), Clark, Stobbs; Zoepfl (Chong 80’), Wealthall, Kmita (c)
Substitutes: Chong, Burr, Mabey, Sampson
Goals: Wheeler 14’, Wealthall 25’ 60’ 89’, Kmita 42’, Auguste 55’, Mabey 85’
Portsmouth Ladies: Levett; Kirby, Southgate, Currie, Peck (Capel-Watson 64’), Sievwright, Albuery (Perkins 46’), Boswell, Panting, McLachlan, Quayle
Substitutes: Burns, Perkins, E-J May, Becca Bell, Sharna Capel-Watson
Goals: McLachlan 80’