Matt Beard admitted he and his West Ham United side were gutted not to take at least a point from Arsenal after losing a 4-3 thriller at Boreham Wood.
The Irons twice took the lead in the first half through Kate Longhurst, but would go in level at the break, before the Gunners took a 4-2 advantage in the second period.
Claire Rafferty halved the deficit late on with a free-kick, but the Hammers were unable to complete the comeback, suffering their first defeat of the season.
Beard could see both huge positives and disappointments in his team’s performance against Arsenal, but ultimately believes his team were deserving of a least a share of the points.
We can take a lot of positives from the game and we’re desperately disappointed not to be walking away with at least a point
“I think, in the first half, we were excellent,” Beard reflected. “We’re disappointed because we’ve conceded from three set-plays, which is obviously frustrating from our point of view, particularly when we consider how well we defended them against Reading.
“We can take enormous credit from our performance though. I thought our first goal was excellent and the second goal was exactly what we had planned for, because we knew that Arsenal liked to play out from the back and could sometimes overplay the ball, and we forced them into the mistake.
“We can take a lot of positives from the game and we’re desperately disappointed not to be walking away with at least a point.”
West Ham’s defending from corners ultimately proved to be the team’s undoing, and Beard offered further explanation as to why the side struggled in this area on Sunday.
He continued: “We didn’t have Brooke Hendrix today, who has been a big part of our defence. With the height Arsenal have, it’s difficult to pick them up player for player, particularly when Brooke and Lucienne [Reichardt] aren’t available.
“We went zonal in this game, when it came to defending corners, and that cost us. We changed it at half-time and they scored from a second ball from a corner. It’s frustrating, of course, but we will learn from it.”
The West Ham boss reserved praise for Sunday’s opponents and reckons his side’s showing proved that the team is constantly getting better.
“I think if anyone finishes above Arsenal this season, that team will win the league,” Beard added. “They’ve got everything a football team needs. At West Ham, we are 13 weeks into working with this group of players and we are getting better each week.
“We will regroup and we will move forward.”