Hammers suffer defeat to Birmingham



West Ham United women fell to a 3-0 defeat to Birmingham City on Sunday after two first half goals and a goal in the closing stages as the Irons chased the game.

The home side were able to score their first goal on 20 minutes courtesy of a header from Kerys Harrop. They then scored their second on 40 minutes as Emma Follis chipped the ball over Becky Spencer in the West Ham goal.

The Irons had their chances, as Julia Simic saw her shot cleared off the line, while Alisha Lehmann was able to go around Ann-Katrin Berger in the Birmingham goal only for her shot to be blocked.

Brianna Visalli had a couple of chances in the second half, but on 79 minutes Lucy Staniforth scored the killer goal to seal the game.

Birmingham got the game underway and immediately looked to start playing some balls over the top of the West Ham defence. However, the Blues were caught offside a number of times in the opening stages.

On nine minutes the Irons got their first chance of the game. West Ham broke well and an inviting cross was sent in, Simic was on the end of the cross and fired at goal, only for her shot to be blocked and turned away for a corner, despite the Hammers appealing for a penalty.

Five minutes later on 14 minutes, after a break in play for an injury, Lehmann took the corner and found Jane Ross who fired at goal with a volley, but Berger held the ball well.

On 20 minutes Birmingham scored their first goal. A corner was sent in and Birmingham captain Harrop was on the end of it to head in the Blues first goal.

Minutes later Birmingham went close again, but thanks to Brooke Hendrix sliding in and blocking the shot the score remained 1-0.

On 30 minutes the Irons looked like scoring an equaliser as Lehmann went around Berger, but Hayley Ladd was able to intercept and give West Ham a corner.

Birmingham were able to score their second just before half-time on 40 minutes. Chloe Arthur played Follis through on goal and chipped Becky Spencer to double the home teams lead.

In the second half the Irons started well, Visalli was able to fire a shot at goal, but it was held by Berger.

On 54 minutes Birmingham won themselves a free-kick. The ball was swung in and headed down towards goal, but Spencer did well to make the save.

Seven minutes later West Ham broke well again. Lehmann charged down the wing and saw Visalli with space in the middle, but Berger ran out quickly and forced the midfielder to shoot wide.

On 73 minutes there was a return to the team for Lucienne Reichardt who came on to replace Visalli.

However, six minutes later Birmingham scored the final goal to kill the game off. Wellings was able to get behind the defence and race towards goal, Staniforth kept pace and received the ball to score in to an open goal.

West Ham United: Spencer; Simon, Hendrix (Rafferty 83), Flaherty (c), Lehmann, Kiernan (Kmita 88), Ross, Simic, Longhurst, Visalli (Reichardt 73), De Graaf  

Subs not used: Moorhouse, Sampson, 

Birmingham City: Berger; Williams, Ladd, Harrop, Arthur, Mayling (Quinn 79), Follis, Wellings, Scott, Mannion, Staniforth (Scofield 90)

Subs not used: Hampton, Hayles