Matt Beard is proud of his West Ham United players’ efforts despite falling to a 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea FC Women.
Two strikes from Ramona Bachmann saw the Irons beaten at Rush Green Stadium by last season’s FA Women’s Super League champions, despite putting on a spirited showing in front of 962 supporters.
Although his team were on the losing end, Beard was happy with the effort he saw from his side on Sunday.
I feel we’ve given a good account of ourselves and we can be proud of what we put in today
“We’re disappointed we lost, but I felt at times today we created good chances,” Beard said. “I think we defended well, we were tough to break down, and we can take a lot of positives from today’s performance. They are a good team, so I feel despite the loss we can take positives from it.
“It just wasn’t to be today. I think if you look at the chances in the first half, where Alisha (Lehmann) flashed it across goal, and the one that Leanne (Kiernan) had where Telford has tipped it wide. Then their first goal was really frustrating from my perspective, because Brianna (Visalli) slipped and then they had the luck of three bounces on that chance.
“As I say I feel we’ve given a good account of ourselves and we can be proud of what we put in today.”
Beard named an unchanged side from the team that defeated Everton Ladies 2-1 last weekend, with the head coach eager to get players back into his side following injuries.
With the likes of Tessel Middag, Claire Rafferty, Brooke Hendrix and Lucienne Reichardt currently out, Beard is delighted with how his side have proven their flexibility in recent weeks.
He added: “Ultimately, we just need our players back fit. Claire Rafferty is missing and Brooke Hendrix and Lucienne Reichardt are as well. We’ve never had Tessel (Middag) due to the injury she picked up with the national team, so to lose them four is a big blow for us.
“We’ve lost balance in the team and we’ve been trying to get that balance right. Erin (Simon) has done a good job on the left-hand side, but she’s right footed. We’ve tried Julia (Simic) in the holding role, and we’ve put Kate (Longhurst) in there as well.
“If we can get those players back fit for Birmingham, we’re hoping that we’ve at least got two back for that. Once we get everyone back fit I feel our strongest eleven can compete with anyone in this division, and I think even today we’ve proved we can be a little bit flexible. We can take a lot of positives from today.”