Late Spurs finish inflicts heartbreaking defeat on Hammers



West Ham United suffered a cruel, late 2-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur in the side’s first match of 2020.

Spurs had taken a first-half lead courtesy of Emma Mitchell but, with nine minutes of added team on the clock, it seemed the Irons had done enough to take a point. Kenza Dali scored a powerful finish from outside the area to level the game. 

However, Rianna Dean turned home a close range header to break West Ham hearts and give Tottenham the result. 

A sunny but chilly Winters’ afternoon at the Hive played host to West Ham United’s first match of 2020, having seen last weekend’s scheduled game at home to Everton postponed, and it seemed the Irons enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges. 

Adriana Leon was involved from the off, a year to the day since her move to the Hammers, seeing a header go over the bar. 

A high tempo and energetic display was on show for supporters with both teams pressing hard to secure a foothold in the match.

Debutant Grace Fisk also made her mark, denying Rianna Dean’s driving run with a top tackle, while Courtney Brosnan had to be quick down to stop Roselle Ayane opening the scoring for Spurs on 30 minutes. 

The resulting corner saw the hosts take the lead. A short pass to Emma Mitchell, who drove a low effort on goal. The ball found the net via a nick off Kate Longhurst and the far post. 

The Hammers looked to press back, with Leon shooting narrowly over from distance just as the first half came to an end.

Brosnan was called into action immediately following the restart, with Matt Beard introducing Jacynta Galabadaarachchi and Julia Simic on the hour mark in a bid to try and turn the tide. 

West Ham continued to press in the search of an equaliser with some lovely link play in midfield. The final ball just would not fall for the Irons. Brosnan was forced into another smart save to deny Dean, after Tottenham attempted a set-piece routine.

Kenza Dali’s free-kick, with 15 minutes to go, was tantalising, but Laura Vetterlein just could not get her head on the incoming ball.

Martha Thomas was played through on goal for the opportunity of a leveller, only to be met by Spurs substitute shot-stopper Chloe Morgan, denying the No9.

With the added time set to be shown, West Ham found the net. Dali was played the ball on the edge of the box, firing home fantastically with a first time finish to level the game. 

Nine minutes of added time to play meant plenty of time for further opportunities and, buoyed by the equaliser, West Ham went in search of a winner, Dali’s free-kick was trapped by Tessel Middag, but somehow the ball was claimed by Morgan.

However, a cruel blow broke Hammers’ hearts, as Dean – so often denied by Brosnan in the match – found her goal from close range.

Tottenham Hotspur: Spencer (Morgan 46), Percival, Green (C), Filbey, Davison; Dean, Graham (Quinn 73), Mitchell; Ayane (Addison 86), Godfrey, Neville
Subs not used: Leon, Peplow, Schillaci, Worm
Goals: Mitchell 31, Dean 90+3

West Ham United: Brosnan; Redisch Kvamme, Fisk, Flaherty (c), Vetterlein: Middag, Longhurst (Simic 59), Dali; Leon (Galabadaarachchi 59), Thomas, Lehmann (Kiernan 71)
Subs not used: Moorhouse, Wallen, Kiszkis, Littlejohn, 
Goals: Dali 90