‘Chichester win is testament to Ladies’ hard work’

Karen and Miles


West Ham United Ladies' 2-0 win over Chichester City Ladies is a testament to the hard work of both the players and the coaches, according to general manager Karen Ray. 

Two finishes from Amber Stobbs saw the Irons see off City and maintain their unbeaten run in 2018, which has now stretched to eight matches and seen the girls score 28 goals and concede just twice. 

Ray is thrilled that her side were able to see out the victory against a Chichester team that defeated the Irons twice earlier in the campaign, saying that the result is the combination of the efforts from everyone involved. 

“To get another win is fantastic,” Ray told whufc.com. “I think the fact we’ve continued this unbeaten run with a victory like this is a testament to both the players and the staff.

I think the fact we've continued this unbeaten run with a victory like this is a testament to both the players and the staff

Karen Ray

"To be honest I was a bit disappointed with how the first half went. The players didn't nullify Chichester's threats to the level that we were hoping. In the second half, we made a couple of changes, having had a tactical refresher in the changing room, and the girls came out and answered exactly what we wanted them to do."

For assistant coach Myles Smith, the win on Sunday was the latest in a strong effort from the side, with the team benefitting from a couple of changes. 

He said: "The results speak for themselves and we've had the performance to go with it as well. We've made a few changes in the background environment, and we're certainly seeing the benefits of that."

The win this weekend came thanks to two finishes from Stobbs, with the No10 adding to her impressive goal tally with a finish from distance in the first half, before an effort rolled over the line after striking the base of the post in the second.

Amber Stobbs

“The girl can score from distance, can’t she?” Ray laughed. “She’s proven that if she gets half a yard she can put them away and I think it’s thoroughly deserved, giving the efforts she puts in during training.

“It was an iffy week because she potentially had an injury, but she did exactly what a professional should do and took care of what she needed to. She deserves full credit for the way she’s handled that potential knock-back and she came out fighting.

“She’s buried the ball twice and she comes away with full credit from us. She gave her mum in the stands a great Mother’s Day present as well.”

The interim head coach was also full of praise for debutants Molly Clark and Cara Connatser, after the pair made their first appearance for the Irons in the win.

Connatser and Clark

Clark and Connatser both played the full 90 minutes in the victory over Chichester and Ray is already seeing the positives to having the duo in the team.

Ray added: “I think Molly Clark showed exactly why she’s played at the level she has. She’s very comfortable on the ball and isn’t afraid to talk to the players in front of her, and tell them what she needs in order to block those passing lanes and be the defensive threat we need her to be.

“She especially showed her class in the last ten to 15 minutes when she pushed on and joined in the forward play. A player like her will add to us in the forward areas.

“Cara has definitely got a voice and she holds her own. She talks to her back four which is nice, and I think they enjoy having someone talking behind them. I think she brings confidence to our defence, as they know she’s there and has their backs.”