Kiernan: Hammers pulled together to earn Lewes win
Leanne Kiernan reckons West Ham United women’s team can take heart from their second-half performance in the 5-0 pre-season victory over Lewes on Sunday.
The Irons signed off their pre-season against the FA Women’s Championship side at the weekend, and found the home team difficult to break down in the first 45 minutes at the Dripping Pan.
However, the second half was a different story, as two goals from debutant Kate Longhurst, a header from Vyan Sampson, Jane Ross’ penalty and a late finish by Kiernan secured a 5-0 result in favour of Matt Beard’s side.
Kiernan – who came on after an hour in Sunday’s match - recognised that the first half was tricky for the team due to Lewes’ resilience, but feels the team responded excellently in the second period.
The second half was really good. We dug deep, we moved the ball quicker, and that led to success for us in the end.
“It was our last pre-season game before we begin our competitive fixtures against Arsenal next week, and overall it was brilliant to get a few goals under our belt and come together as a team,” Kiernan told whufc.com.
“In the first half, Lewes were really hard to break down. They sat deep and were compact and we struggled to make chances. But the second half was really good. We dug deep, we moved the ball quicker, and that led to success for us in the end.”
The 19-year-old netted her second goal of pre-season for the Irons but Kiernan believes the result and performance was more important than her own, personal tally.
She continued: “It’s always nice to get a goal and get on the scoresheet, but it’s about the team at the end of the day. We played well and we’re very happy after that.
“Results like that give us confidence. We know this season is going to be tough and we’re going to have to work hard, but taking a win into our first game gives us real confidence.”
With less than a week to go until West Ham begin the 2018/19 campaign with a Continental Cup tie away to Arsenal, Kiernan is anticipating a tough contest at Boreham Wood, but one that she and her teammates will relish.
“I’m excited for Arsenal,” Kiernan added. “You want to be playing against the best teams, and Arsenal are certainly up there.
“It will be a brilliant experience and we need to put our best foot forward. It’s something I’m looking forward to.”
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