West Ham United head coach Matt Beard pulled no punches in his assessment of the side’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.
The Irons thought they had secured a credible draw at The Hive, courtesy of Kenza Dali’s late finish from outside the area, after Emma Mitchell had put Tottenham in front on Sunday afternoon.
However, with nine minutes of added time, Rianna Dean’s header found the net and broke West Ham hearts late on.
The most frustrating thing for me was that we had three really good opportunities in the first half.
For Beard, there was disappointment in his team’s failure to capitalise in the first half following a number of decent chances, admitting that there were spells where his team were outperformed by Spurs.
“The most frustrating thing for me was that we had three really good opportunities in the first half,” Beard said. “We could have gone one, two or even three goals up. But we either made the wrong choice or we’ve snapped at the finish, and then we didn’t set-up on their corner and they scored from it.
“We showed character at the end to get back into the game. When we scored, we then had a great opportunity to score again.
“Today was about first and second balls and, ultimately, Tottenham were better at that. I said to the girls this week, and before the game, that the team that would win the game would be the team with heart and desire. I’m not saying we didn’t have that, but it felt like, at times, they wanted it more than we did. Ultimately, that cost us the game today.”
Sunday’s fixture saw new signing Grace Fisk make her West Ham bow and also earn her maiden Barclays FA Women’s Super League appearance, and Beard was happy with how the young centre-back performed against Tottenham.
He added: “Grace is a talented player and I thought she had a good debut today. She had a tough one against a team that can be quite direct, but I felt she applied herself really well.
“We knew Grace is a good player and she will be a very good player for this football club.”