Ross and Kiernan secure comeback win at Bristol City
Jane Ross’ 89th-minute finish saw West Ham United claim a late, deserved comeback victory away to Bristol City Women.
Despite dominating the first half, Matt Beard’s side were unable to make their chances count and were made to pay when Bristol substitute Heather Payne turned home on the hour mark.
Leanne Kiernan dragged the Irons back into the game with an instinctual finish quarter of an hour later, before Ross completed the comeback with her 11th goal of the season, earning the Hammers the three points.
With goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse and midfielder Kate Longhurst both suspended, head coach Matt Beard made a number of changes for Sunday’s match, but his side controlled much of the first period.
Alisha Lehmann saw a curling effort go over the bar as the match ticked into 15 minutes, while Leanne Kiernan’s low effort was narrowly wide after Jane Ross’ teasing ball across the box.
Kiernan would then exchange chances with Brianna Visalli, with each playing the other in for a shot, but neither was able to find the target.
Adriana Leon had arguably the biggest chance of the half, when Visalli brilliant cut the ball back into her path perfectly, The No19, however, could not keep her effort down.
Sunday’s hosts were limited to the speculative, with Carla Humphrey trying a looping strike from distance, but the Hammers would have been happy with their first-half performance, although it missed the goal to go with it.
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first. Some quick feet from Leon found Kieran in space, and her shot was straight at Baggaley. Moments later, Ria Percival fired a thunderous effort on goal from distance, which was just wide.
There was always the danger that the missed chances would haunt the Irons, and it did on 59 minutes. Bristol substitute Heather Payne made an immediate impact after coming on less than a minute before, turning home from close range.
A goal was always in West Ham’s sights, and the equaliser came 15 minutes later. Some fantastic work by Visalli saw the ball end up with Lehmann. The Swiss international played in Kiernan, who turned in a powerful, low effort at the near post.
The Irons, buoyed by Kiernan’s leveller, kept pressing and saw an effort from Ross somehow go over the bar with five minutes to go.
However, as the clock ticked into the final minute of the game, West Ham claimed the deserved win, as Ross turned home Visalli’s cross into the net, sending the away fans home delighted.
Bristol City Women: Baggaley; Allen, Evans, Brown, Pattinson, Humphrey, Rutherford (Robinson 85), Graham, Harrison, Ayane (Payne 58), Biesmans
Subs not used: Cumings, Kerkdijk, Wilson, Woolley
Goals: Payne 59,
West Ham United: Spencer; Simon, Hendrix, Sampson, Rafferty; Percival, Visalli, Lehmann, Leon; Kiernan (Kmita 83), Ross
Subs not used: Flaherty
Goals: Kiernan 74, Ross 89