Matt Beard: We were clinical and took our chances

Matt Beard


West Ham United women’s head coach Matt Beard was delighted with how his team took their goalscoring opportunities in Sunday’s 3-1 victory away to Brighton & Hove Albion. 

Martha Thomas, Kenza Dali and Alisha Lehmann all struck for the Irons to take a deserved three points from the People’s Pension Stadium, while Brighton could only respond in added time through Megan Connolly’s close-range shot. 

Having dominated in terms of chances, West Ham’s victory was a fair result and Beard was pleased to see his team finally showing their prowess in front of goal, having struggled to make the most of opportunities in previous matches.

We’ve taken our chances and I felt we were comfortable throughout. We had more chances as well as the three we scored, so I’m really pleased with the performance.

Matt Beard

“I’m really pleased with the performance,” Beard said. “We have been threatening in front of goal all season in terms of chances. I said after the Tottenham game two weeks ago that, for whatever reason, we weren’t making the right decisions in the final third. We have done that today. 

“It happened to us in the last game. We had five or six good chances but didn’t take them and then we got punished by Spurs from set-plays, and Tottenham win the game. Today though, we’ve taken our chances and I felt we were comfortable throughout. 

“We had more chances as well as the three we scored, so I’m really pleased with the performance.”

Sunday’s encounter was a physical and competitive match, bordering on feisty, as both sides looked to establish an advantage before Thomas’ 24-minute opener, leathering home with her left-boot. 

Dali stepped up to tuck away from the penalty spot before Lehmann’s deflected strike found the net as well as the Irons climbed to sixth in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table. 

Matt Beard


Beard was happy with how his team dealt with Brighton’s physical threat and stuck to the devised game-plan to come away with the points.

He continued: “This is a tough place to come. They are a very physical and direct team that put you under a lot of pressure, but I felt we coped with that very well. The really pleasing thing was that we didn’t drop to their standards. We kept playing good football, our game, so I was very pleased. 

“When we looked at Brighton, we could see that they are very organised and disciplined in their shape. We could see it would be easy to play around and because they press with a high line, there’s a lot of space in the wide areas and in behind. 

“If you look at where our best play came from, it was the counter-attack or playing around. We’re pleased to leave with three points.”