West Ham United Women defeat London City Lionesses in pre-season friendly

West Ham United Women began their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 win over London City Lionesses at Princes Park. 

Mel Filis opened the scoring with 30 minutes on the clock as the east Londoners dominated large spells of the contest. 

The behind-closed-doors match kicked off at 2pm on Sunday afternoon, as the Hammers faced off against the Women’s Championship outfit. 

Olli Harder’s side started well in the Kent sunshine, with Dagný Brynjarsdóttir racing in behind before testing the Lionesses’ goalkeeper with a cross from the by-line. 

The Icelandic midfielder had another opportunity moments later, this time striking an effort over the crossbar from just outside the penalty area.

Claudia Walker showed some good moments in the opening moments, using her strength to good effect against a strong City back-line. 

Lionesses had a good chance to take the lead after their centre forward was played through with 16 minutes gone, however, Anna Leat stood firm and made a strong save. 

A strong passage of play followed as Harder’s team looked to break the deadlock. Some good play between Lisa Evans and Kate Longhurst almost created an opportunity for Walker at the back post. 

And with 30 minutes on the clock, the Hammers opened the scoring. The move began with Gilly Flaherty switching the play over to her fellow defender, Grace Fisk, who chipped the ball over for Filis to fire into the bottom corner. 

In truth, the contest had been an even one up until the opening goal, but the away side began to turn the screw, moving the ball well in tight areas and looking to add to their advantage. 

Lois Joel almost took advantage of a poor clearance, but her curled effort landed narrowly wide of the target.  

There were no changes for either side at half-time, as Harder looked to get plenty of minutes into the legs of those that started the match. 

The Hammers started the half well, with Evans and Brynjarsdóttir going close with chances five minutes after the restart. 

Trialist A replaced Brynjarsdóttir and almost immediately made an impact, her header forcing a good save from the Lionesses goalkeeper. 

The tempo slowed as the game hit the 70th minute, but the Irons still looked in control, passing the ball around well. 

The home side went close though in the 77th minutes, with a direct free-kick landing on the roof of Leat’s goal, much to the relief of Hawa Cissoko, who had given away the shooting opportunity. 

Claudia Walker had a golden opportunity from close range to double the scoreline, but her shot was expertly saved by the Lionesses goalkeeper. 

LCL had chances to equalise late on, but the Hammers stood firm and started their pre-season campaign in the best possible way. 

West Ham United: Leat, Flaherty, Cissoko, Fisk, Joel (Pacheco 74), Wyne, Evans, Brynjarsdóttir (Trialist A 54), Longhurst, Filis, Walker. 

Goals: Filis 30