Matt Beard: A good performance but a frustrating result
Matt Beard was sorry to see his West Ham United side go without the reward their general play deserved in a narrow 1-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon.
The Irons set out in pursuit of a third straight win in all competitions against the Seagulls, and after some even opening exchanges, grew into the game and began to regularly fashion clear-cut chances.
The away team put plenty of bodies behind the ball but were unable to stop the likes of Martha Thomas, Alisha Lehmann and Emily van Egmond clear sights at goal in the first half, with Brighton keeper Cecile Fiskerstand in particular doing well to deny Thomas when one-on-one.
The Hammers retained their confidence and continued to play some swashbuckling football in the second half, but were punished for their profligacy after Rianna Jarrett pounced on a loose ball to lob Mackenzie Arnold midway through the second half.
I think the performance was good but it’s frustrating we’ve got nothing out of the game.
Despite the Irons’ mounting pressure, the game began to drift away from the home team as Brighton began to relish every clearance, and Beard and West Ham were ultimately left to reflect on a frustrating result which did not reflect what had gone before it.
Beard explained: “I said it before the game: the game’s going to be won on who takes their chances and who doesn’t, and unfortunately for me, we had numerous in the first half, a few in the second half, and we were punished.
“We said it at half-time: we’ve got to be composed in front of goal, we’ve got to take that first chance early because the pressure grows, and then there was one error really and they’ve punished us.
“It is what it is – we can’t change the result. I think the performance was good but it’s frustrating we’ve got nothing out of the game.”
Despite the good chances they created, West Ham were left to rue a loss which, with sharper finishing, Beard feels could have easily been averted.
“It’s been the story of the season again,” he reflected. “It happened against Reading here [in a 1-0 loss] – we could have been two or three up early doors – and it’s happened again here today.
“We’ve had some really good chances and for whatever reason we’ve snatched at it or not made the right decision or we’ve had an extra touch, but I can’t change it.
“I thought Brighton deserve credit for hanging in there the back end of that last ten minutes. It’s a disappointing result for us and obviously a great result for them.”