Martha Thomas: It was a complete performance from everyone
West Ham United Women’s forward Martha Thomas scored her first professional career hat-trick at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, as the Hammers completed a welcome 5-0 victory over Reading.
The east Londoners were on fire in the opening 45 minutes, first opening the scoring through Kenza Dali, before Katerina Svitkova headed home a second.
Thomas then joined in on the act, as the Scotland international scored the third, fourth and fifth to seal the win and cap a fantastic team performance.
“It’s a great feeling to score a hat-trick but looking at the bigger picture getting three points is much more important," she said. "It feels good to have contributed, especially when I’ve felt like I’ve been working really hard and not been getting the rewards of late, so to get it today was good.
“It was a complete performance from everyone. Each player gave everything that they had in the tank. I was cramping up towards the end and I think every single one of us ran our socks off to make sure that we didn’t concede and got the clean sheet.
“I thought that we showed composure in the second half to sit off and make sure that we protected our goal as much as we could, whilst still being a threat on the counter and pressing high, it’s a credit to the team that we did that.”
The Hammers moved up to tenth place and out of the relegation zone thanks to Saturday’s win, which saw them equal their biggest ever WSL victory.
Thomas believes that clinical finishing was the difference between this match and their previous WSL performances.
“In the first eleven minutes I think we had four chances and converted three of them, which we haven’t had this season and has been a negative of our performance this year, so we hope that we can kick on and continue to be clinical in our games coming up," she observed.
“I don’t think luck has been on our side this season, whether that be own goals, missed chances or injuries. Having that bit of luck with Kenza’s opener which really helped us kick on and then we were clinical with the other four goals that came our way.”
Thomas hadn’t found the net since West Ham’s last league victory, which came away against Bristol City in the middle of December, so was pleased to be amongst the goals once again.
“Scoring a hattrick is big for my confidence. I’m a forward that likes scoring, so finding the back of the net is always in the back of my mind, but to be honest I always look at the bigger picture, which is three points and that will always take priority.
“I don’t care whether it’s me or someone else as long as we come away with all three points, but from a personal perspective, it was nice to get those goals today.”
Thomas went off with cramp towards the end of the match, which epitomises the work rate of the 24-year-old who didn’t stop closing down the Reading defenders all afternoon.
“I do enjoy the role; I love stretching the defence in behind. It’s definitely a demanding role because of the style of play, but it’s rewarding.
“I will be sore tomorrow that’s for sure and I have been after games this calendar year. I think that shows that I’m still adapting to my position and this style of play,” she said.
Read the reaction of Hammers boss, Olli Harder after the victory over the Royals by clicking here.