Beard: It's great to get the win under our belts


West Ham United women’s head coach Matt Beard was delighted to record a first three-point haul of the season by defeating Yeovil Town 2-1 at Rush Green on Sunday.

Following a draw and defeat to kick-off their debut FA Women’s Super League campaign, it was a pair of substitutes who secured victory against the Glovers, with both Leanne Kiernan and Rosie Kmita coming off the bench to net the vital goals.

Beard was thrilled with their impact, although Kiernan was later forced off through injury, and with how his team stood up to a physical threat from their visitors.

The Hammers had to show character after the visitors pegged them back following Kiernan's opener, with Kmita scoring immediately to secure the three points.

“It’s good to get the three points,” he said. “We’ve had a tough start to league life and it was a bit of a scrappy game today but we’ve got the win under our belts and we can tick that one off and move on.

“[Before we made the substitution to bring Kiernan on] We felt we were playing into their hands a little bit. They had a high press and good distances. It kept coming in too short and there was a lot of space in behind.

“Leanne is a great talent and was unlucky not to start today, but she’s a player who can stretch teams with her pace and the way the game was panning out we felt it was the right change. Then obviously Rosie was an enforced change because Leanne got injured unfortunately.

Matt Beard

“Both took their goals very well and I’m delighted for Rosie because she deserves it.

“Defensively, there were a lot of direct balls [to deal with] so I think Gilly and, especially when Brooke came on at centre-half, we dealt with that particularly well.

“We had to make numerous changes to the shape at times with Brooke going off and Leanne too.

“The girls deserve credit for one or two of the changes we made and I thought Ria Percival was good today. Collectively we showed a bit of character to score again straight away when they pegged us back. That was a good sign of character from us.”

With four points from three games, Beard is happy with how the Hammers have begun life in the WSL and says there is lots more to come.

“The players have been brilliant,” he added. “They’ve learned with every performance and I’ve said time and time again that it’s going to take us until the end October, November for everyone to really gel, so we’re under no illusions on that.

“But the key thing is we’ve picked up four points from our first three games that we’ve played and it’s important that we continue to pick up as many points as possible, especially at home.