A spirited showing from West Ham United was not enough to hold off Chelsea FC Women, who defeated Matt Beard’s Irons 2-0 at Rush Green Stadium.
The battling Hammers put up more than their end of the performance in the first half, keeping the reigning FA Women’s Super League champions at bay.
However, Ramona Bachmann was able to squeeze the Blues in front on 63 minutes, after her first effort fell fortunately after striking the post, before the Chelsea attacker secured the win with a curling effort.
West Ham started the game strong and controlled the ball in the starting moments, as they looked for some early dominance.
The first chance came on eight minutes for the Irons. Some good link up play between Esmee De Graaf and Julia Simic saw the Dutch midfielder play in a great ball, but Chelsea were able to clear.
On 14 minutes, an excellent ball over the top found Alisha Lehmann, who controlled it superbly. The Switzerland international played in a cross that just evaded everyone in the box.
Moments later, Chelsea were able to counter and Fran Kirby was through on goal. However, some sensational goalkeeping from Becky Spencer prevented the Blues from the taking the lead, as she made herself big and saved the shot.
Ten minutes later, Bachmann was able to break behind the defensive line and rolled the ball to the edge of the box to Hannah Blundell who had a powerful shot, but again Spencer was able to make the save.
Coming to the closing stages of the first-half the Blues had a corner which found England. She was able to control and volley at goal, but Spencer dived to her left and tipped the ball around the post.
An attacking change from Matt Beard at half-time saw Leanne Kiernan replace Vyan Sampson as the Irons looked for the first goal.
Straight from the kick-off, West Ham looked to make the breakthrough. Lehmann made a quick run down the right-hand side and won the Hammers a corner, which was headed just wide from Flaherty.
Minutes later, Erin Simon put some pressure on Bright and forced her into a mistake and losing the ball. Simic recovered the ball but was fouled by Bright to win a free-kick for the Irons, which was sent just over by the German midfielder.
On the hour mark Kiernan found herself with the ball inside the Blues penalty area, her shot took a deflection and went just round the post for a West Ham corner. The resulting corner saw the ball fired over the bar from a shot.
Three minutes later Chelsea made the breakthrough. Bachmann was able to get behind the Irons defence and despite Simon’s best effort to stop the attacker, she was able to put the ball past Spencer on to the post and fire in from the rebound.
On 81 minutes Flaherty played an inviting ball into the box in an attempt to find Kiernan, but the ball just evaded the Ireland international and went out for a goal kick.
Chelsea then doubled their lead and sealed the victory on 85 minutes, as Bachmann curled in a great effort over Spencer and into the top corner and sealed the victory for the Blues.
West Ham United: Spencer; Percival, Flaherty (c), Sampson (Kiernan 46), Simon; De Graaf, Simic, Longhurst, Visalli, Lehmann (Kmita 90), Ross
Subs not used: Moorhouse
Chelsea FC Women: Telford; Blundell, Bright (c), Ingle, Kirby (Carter 77), England (Riley 61), Eriksson, Andersson, Cuthbert, Bachmann, Spence (Cooper 87)
Subs not used: Lindahl, So-Yun, Bailey