Gilly Flaherty: The scoreline is the only statistic that matters
Gilly Flaherty believes West Ham United dominated large aspects of Sunday’s clash with Everton, but acknowledged the final score - a 3-1 defeat - was the only statistic that mattered.
The Hammers put on an attacking and battling showing in their Barclays FA Women’s Super League match away to the Toffees and, despite going behind early on, were level at half-time thanks to Kenza Dali’s superb effort from outside the box.
The Irons were the stronger team for long periods at Walton Hall Park but found themselves 2-1 down when Lucy Graham fired home from distance midway through the second half, before she added a third for the Toffees late on.
Captain Flaherty says it was clear to see how well West Ham played in Sunday’s match, but accepted the final score was the only aspect that really mattered.
I think we played really well, but if you don’t take your chances, no one is going to care about how much possession you had or how many chances you had
Flaherty said: “We were the better teams at times today. Everton should be where they are in the league with the teams they’ve played. But I think the score-line today casts the wrong impression. We should have come away with something.
“I think the second goal was against the run of play, Then, we’re pushing to get the equaliser and the third goal kills us. It’s frustrating because I think we played really well, but it’s one of those games where, if you don’t take your chances, no one is going to care about how much possession you had or how many chances you had. Those stats become irrelevant because it’s the score-line that counts.
“We ended the first half really strong and, in the second, there was a good 20 minutes where we dominated the match. But what’s the point in dominating if you can’t capitalise on that? Because then the momentum will change.”
Having played in the Continental League Cup in midweek, Flaherty feels tiredness may have been a factor for both teams and says the Irons must now focus on this Sunday’s league match with Manchester United.
“Their second goal goes in, and we tried to push,” she added. “We 100 per cent thought we could get back into it. You could see in our reaction and the way we kept fighting. We then probably had our best spell, at that point, but we were just pushing so hard and then tiredness creeps in.
“Both sides played midweek games and, for us, the majority of our players playing today also played in that midweek game, the full 90 minutes and then penalties. That’s not an excuse though, but it does have a factor. You exert even more. We just need to regroup now for the massive game next weekend.”