Matt Beard was pleased with the reaction of his West Ham side in their 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers, despite going down 1-0 in the early stages of the game.
Natasha Flint opened the scoring for Blackburn on 14 minutes after a mix up between the West Ham defence and goalkeeper. However, Leon scored an equaliser just before half time to take the Irons level in to the break.
In the second half Brianna Visalli scored with a looping effort to give the Hammers the lead. Then minutes later, Leon scored her second of the game to see West Ham go through to the next round of the FA Cup.
After the game, head coach Beard was full of praise for the Irons performance.
I was pleased with the reaction to going 1-0 down because we’ve been on a tough run. So, from that perspective, I felt we responded well.
He said: “It was a tricky tie, because obviously they’re doing well in their division. They’re winning lots of games, scoring lots of goals and you can see why to be perfectly honest.
“I was pleased with the performance, I was pleased with the reaction to going 1-0 down because we’ve been on a tough run. So, from that perspective, I felt we responded well.
“We created numerous chances today and, on another day, maybe we could have got another two or three, but the pleasing thing is that we’ve seen certain things that we’ve been asking for in training and what we’ve been working on to happen today.
“The third goal came from the midfield player dropping out and then exploiting the space once the pass goes. So, from that side of things we’re really pleased, and the important thing today was to get in the next round.
“It was a tough tie especially with the run of results that we’ve had, and the girls deserve a lot of credit.”
The goal from Leon just before half-time proved to be a vital moment in the game, as the Hammers came out full of confidence in the second half.
Beard said: “The goal was massive because it changes the team talk a little bit and gives everyone a lift going in to the second half.
“Then of course if you look at the chances we did have, Blackburn defended really well and bravely on some of the chances we had and some others we snatched at a little bit.
“The most important thing is we created the chances and we converted three of them today, so I’m really pleased.”
Beard also had a large bench to choose from today but was frustrated to see a couple of players go off through injury.
The head coach continued: “For the first time we’ve had five on the bench, unfortunately we lost two to injury in the first half. That’s frustrating because as soon as you get people back, you get some setbacks.
“The most important thing today was to get the result and get in to the next round and I think we’ve done that with some good football today.”