Hammers beaten in Conti Cup quarter-finals
West Ham United’s 2018/19 Continental Tyres Cup campaign came to an end at the quarter-final stage with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United.
A scrappy finish in the opening period, tucked away by Jess Sigsworth, was followed up in the second half with a powerful finish after the Manchester United attacker won possession in a dangerous position.
Jane Ross could not have been closer to levelling late in the first period, seeing a close-range rocket somehow saved, while Kate Longhurst hit the post from distance with a fabulous strike.
A freezing evening at Leigh Sports Village began with the home side on the attack, with Becky Spencer being tested early. The West Ham shot-stopper got down well to deny Kirsty Smith after just a minute of action.
The shot-stopper was called on again after 10 minutes, turning away a good cross, but Spencer was beaten in unfortunate circumstances not long after.
A cross into the area seemed to cause issues, with Sigsworth getting a strike on the ball. The effort seemed to slightly strike Hammers midfielder Longhurst, taking it across the line and into the net to give the Red Devils the advantage.
Claire Rafferty was given the opportunity to test Siobhan Chamberlain from a free-kick, but the No11’s effort was over the bar.
As the first half ticked to a close, West Ham should have levelled the match. A brilliant attacking move saw a cross played into the home side’s penalty area. Alisha Lehmann knocked the ball down and Ross struck sweetly from six yards, only for Chamberlain to turn the effort past her near post.
A chance, and hope for West Ham heading into the second period.
The Irons came within inches of levelling the tie not long after the restart. A long free-kick forward by Spencer initially looked innocuous, but the ball was knocked down into the Longhurst’s path. The midfielder, 30 yards out, struck the ball sweetly on the half-volley, with her effort clattering against the woodwork.
Manchester United made the Hammers pay for their missed chance. Sigsworth stole in not long after, finishing from the edge of the box to double her side’s lead.
Matt Beard’s side struggled to pressure the home team. Lucienne Reichardt attempted a strike from the edge of the area, but couldn’t find the target.
Percival attempted a strike as the full-time whistle ticked closer, but was not able to trouble the goalkeeper, while Longhurst saw another long-range shot saved. Percival saw another effort hit the woodwork, but West Ham’s cup run ended in the last eight.
Manchester United: Chamberlain; Harris, A.Turner, M.Turner, Smith; Green, Zelem, Greenwood (c); James (Toone 80), Arnot (Hanson 46), Sigsworth.
Substitutes not used: Palmer, Hartley, Ramsey, Roberts, Devlin,
Goals: Sigsworth 17, 53,
West Ham United: Spencer; Percival, Flaherty, Sampson (Simon 65), Hendrix, Rafferty; Reichardt (Kmita 76), Longhurst, Visalli; Lehmann, Ross
Substitutes not used: Moorhouse