Hammers edged out by Liverpool at Rush Green



West Ham United were beaen 1-0 by Liverpool FC Women as Courtney Sweetman-Kirk scored the only goal of the game.

The match's sole finish was netted on 11 minutes, with a counter-attack catching the home side out. Sweetman-Kirk's first shot was expertly stopped by Becky Spencer, only for the forward to tuck in the rebound. 

West Ham - playing in the away kit to avoid a clash of colours - were quick to push back and looked a dangerous proposition, particularly in the second period, with captain Gilly Flaherty and Leanne Kiernan going close. 

But the Reds were able to hold on and depart Rush Green Stadium with all three points, leaving the Irons with back-to-back defeats.

Liverpool applied the early pressure in Sunday's match against West Ham, but Erin Simon did well to cut the pass out and looked to set Esmee De Graaf through down the left-hand side. The Dutch midfielder could not find a West Ham shirt in the box.

The Reds were quick on the counter attack and, on 11 minutes, punished West Ham. Sweetman-Kirk’s first effort was brilliantly saved by Spencer in the Hammers goal, but the Liverpool number nine won the second ball and put the ball in to the back of the West Ham net.

Liverpool had a chance to double their lead two minutes later. A dangerous free-kick was played in but evaded all the players in the box and went narrowly wide of the far post.

On 25 minutes, Kiernan had a long-range effort at goal, but Fran Kitching watched it go just over her bar with West Ham slowly coming in to the game.

West Ham came out strong in the second half as they immediately looked to bring the game level. Kiernan put some early pressure on Kitching and forced her in to an early mistake, as she gifted West Ham a corner.

The resulting corner was cleared by the Reds defence, but the ball fell back to the Ireland international, who struck a fierce shot at goal that was saved well by Kitching.

On 59 minutes Ria Percival played in a great cross to Visalli, but her diving header went just over the Liverpool goal.

Some great defending from Percival on 70 minutes prevented Liverpool from taking the game out of the Hammers’ reach as she brilliantly muscled off Kirsty Linnett to prevent her from scoring.

Nine minutes later a great free-kick in to the box saw the ball meet the head of Flaherty, but Kitching pulled off yet another magnificent save. The resulting corner was then again met by Flaherty, but this time went just over.

On 82 minutes Liverpool hit the woodwork from a long-range Clarke shot. Linnett then scored from the rebound, but the linesman had his flag up for offside.

With six minutes added time displayed by the fourth official West Ham looked to capitalise, but failed to make a late chance count, with Kiernan finding the outside of the post with a narrow attempt in the dying embers of the game.

West Ham United: Spencer; Percival, Sampson (Kmita 70), Flaherty(c), Simon; Simic, Visalli, Longhurst; Lehmann, Kiernan, De Graaf (Ross 46)

Subs not used: Moorhouse

Liverpool FC Women: Kitching; Matthews, Robe, Roberts (Fahey 72), Bradley-Auckland (c), Coombs, Sweetman-Kirk (Linnett 57), C.Murray (Babajide 78), Charles, S.Murray

Subs not used: Preuss, Daniels, Little, Rodgers