Mabey: Hammers have earned Cup final opportunity
West Ham United Ladies were deserving of their Isthmian League Cup semi-final win over Whyteleafe, which puts the Hammers into the final of the competition, according to Leanne Mabey.
Two goals in the first half of Wednesday’s match by Rosie Kmita and Ellie Zoepfl were added to by Chloe Burr and Andria Georgiou in the second period, which gave the Irons a 4-0 win and saw the side book their place in the final of the competition.
The Hammers will now be preparing for their biggest 90 minutes of the season so far and Mabey says she and her teammates are already eagerly anticipating the coming final.
And the defender believes a place in the last two is exactly what the side has earned after their efforts this campaign.
When you get into any final, you’re buzzing about it, and I know the girls are already looking forward to it.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to get to the final,” Mabey told whufc.com: “It’s nothing less than what we deserve. We put in the hard work last year, hit the ground running again this year, and the girls got a really good result on Sunday as well. I think it’s just rewards that we’re in the final.
‘We train really hard. We’re out in the rain, the snow, you name it we’re out there. We’re out there early on Sunday mornings if we haven’t got a game. When you get into any final, you’re buzzing about it, and I know the girls are already looking forward to it.’
Despite the suggestions of the score-line, Whyteleafe certainly didn’t make it easy for West Ham with the home side causing the Irons a number of issues, particularly in the first half.
Mabey admits the Hammers had to make tactical changes in the second half to cope with Whyteleafe’s threat, revealing that the way Wednesday’s opponents set up caught the team slightly off-guard.
“We never underestimated Whyteleafe,” she insisted. “What did surprise us was how quickly they came at us in the first half. We came out with an idea of playing quick, fast football, which didn’t quite work because we were being pressed quite high.
“Obviously, we have to adapt to that as a team. There were some harsh words said at half-time, not just from the manager from the girls as well. We had to pick up the performance in the second half and that’s what we did.
“We needed to move the ball quicker. They were playing three at the back and we needed to hit that space in behind as much as we could. We changed in the second half. We were much more composed on the ball, keeping it better, playing better passes, and making better use of it.”
West Ham’s opponent in the Cup final will be determined in due course, while the date, venue and ticketing information will also be revealed in the near future.