West Ham United Ladies General Manager Karen Ray admits there is disappointment at not claiming three points against Crystal Palace, but cannot hide her pride at the team’s performance in the 0-0 draw.
A frantic, energetic and end-to-end contest in Bromley on Sunday ended with the Hammers earning a share of the point against the Eagles, with both sides boasting goalscoring opportunities in the fixture.
For West Ham, Ellie Zoepfl went close in the first half with a decent chance before Molly Peters what was surely a last-minute winner ruled out for offside.
And, while Ray rues the linesman’s decision, the interim head coach is delighted with how the side played in this weekend’s draw.
“I simply can’t put into words how proud I am,” Ray told whufc.com. “The girls put on a brilliant performance and dominated possession at important periods of the game.
I simply can't put into words how proud I am. We are hugely disappointed we are not coming away with three points. The girls thoroughly deserved them.
“I have to be honest; we are hugely disappointed we are not coming away with the three points. The girls thoroughly deserved them, and having looked back over the video, Molly was nowhere near offside and her calm finish was painfully denied, ultimately costing us the win.
“However, there are many positives to take away from today’s performance. Our defenders; Chantelle, Hannah, Chenise, Jasmine and Amy were once again solid. Amy Cooper has really proven to be a great leader, the team cohesion has a fantastic feel about it at the moment and I sense that the players are enjoying being in the environment.”
West Ham lined up with a 4-1-4-1 formation with Rosie Kmita leading the line, supported by a four-player midfield with Amber Stobbs and Zoepfl on the wings.
“The tactical changes we made today really suited our players, it allowed us to put them under pressure and cause their defenders some real problems,” Ray explained.
“I cannot fault the graft that the midfield four put in; Amber, Dre, Dayna and Ellie were relentless in their desire to find Rosie’s speed in behind and she certainly kept Palace’s defenders busy.”
A point against Palace ends a great week for the West Ham Ladies, who played three times in seven days and collected two wins and a draw.
With a huge away win over Cardiff City and a place in the Isthmian League Cup final booked prior to the Palace draw, Ray only has praise and gratitude to give to her team, coaches and everyone involved with the Club.
She continued: “The girls have shown an unbelievable amount of commitment this week, with a full week of training on top of three games. I think everyone will agree we still maintained a tremendous amount of energy for the full ninety minutes. The staff have really supported the players recovery, however, to sustain the tenacious fighting attitude is truly down to the players themselves.
“I would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported the players; parents, families and friends have all been unwavering in spurring us on to a fantastic week.”