Battling Hammers impress in defeat to Arsenal

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Arsenal Women 2-0 West Ham United Women 
Barclays FA Women's Super League
Meadow Park
Wednesday 28 April 2021

West Ham United battled superbly in the pouring rain in north London but were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Wednesday evening. 

Goals from Vivianne Miedema and Kim Little were the difference at Meadow Park, but the Hammers can be proud of their performance. 

Olli Harder made two changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Everton on Sunday. Mackenzie Arnold returned between the posts for the first time since February, as she replaced Courtney Brosnan in goal. Laura Vetterlein also returned to the starting XI, with Martha Thomas dropping down to the bench. 

The home side had the game’s first opportunity inside three minutes, Caitlin Foord was unmarked inside the area but her header was well saved by the returning Arnold. 

Katie McCabe was next to sneak into the area for Arsenal, as she arrived unmarked but could only prod her effort wide to the relief of the hammers defence. 

The Gunners had the ball in the net on 14 minutes, but the linesman flagged for offside as Foord bundled the ball home. 

The Hammers settled into their defensive shape, making it difficult for the home side to break them down. 

And they had attacking flurries of their own as a result of their high press. Cecilie Redisch played a lovely one-two with Emily van Egmond, but her cross couldn’t find a team-mate. 

Unfortunately, the defence was breached on 33 minutes, as Vivianne Miedema found the bottom corner from range to open the scoring in north London. 

Just before the break, Kenza Dali let fly from distance, with her effort taking a deflection. From the resulting corner, Dagny Brynjarsdottir flung herself at the ball, but her header landed wide of the mark. 

There was another golden chance for the Icelandic international moments later, as Redisch delivered a sumptuous cross onto her head, but the effort landed agonisingly wide of the far post, with the half time whistle sounding moments later. 

The rain continued to pour at Meadow Park as the teams re-emerged for the second half, with van Egmond having the first opportunity. Her strike from long range after some good play flew over the crossbar. 

Maz Pacheco won the ball high up the field moments later and attempted to play a pinpoint through ball to Brynjarsdottir, but the ball skidded along the surface and evaded the midfielder. 

Arnold was called upon with 60 minutes gone, with the goalkeeper getting down well to deny the Gunners a second, which at the time would have been against the run of play. 

The Hammers continued with the tenacity and desire they had shown throughout the match, displaying superb work ethic and the continued to look the more likely side to score next. 

However, the home side remained a contestant threat on the counterattack, with Grace Fisk positioning herself well to cut out an Arsenal chance. 

Kim Little found the net moments later though, against the run of play as the Hammers had dominated the second half exchanges. 

Martha Thomas then went close, as she combined with fellow substitute Anouk Denton, but her header was well saved by Lydia Williams. 

Unfortunately, the east Londoners couldn't grab a goal which their overall play deserved, as the full time whistle sounded.

West Ham United Women: Arnold, Redisch (Denton 81), Pacheco, Flaherty, Longhurst, Dali, Fisk, Cissoko, Van Egmond, Vetterlein (Thomas 56), Brynjarsdottir. 
Unused Subs: Brosnan, Mustafa, Barker, Beaufort. 

Arsenal Women: Williams, Maritz (Patten 86), Williamson, Wubben-Moy, McCabe, Walti, Little, Nobbs (Roord 71), Mead (Van De Donk 86), Miedema, Foord. 
Unused Subs: Zinsberger, Goldie, Maier, Catley, Gut,  

Booking: Nobbs 51

Goals: Miedema 33, Little 78.