West Ham United lost 6-0 to Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Women’s Continental League Cup at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday night.
Pernille Harder gave the Blues the lead after just three minutes and the shell-shocked Hammers soon found themselves 4-0 down midway through the first half.
Olli Harder’s side rallied in the second period, but the hosts added two more in the closing stages to complete a comprehensive victory.
Defender Laura Vetterlein spoke to whufc.com after the disappointing semi-final defeat.
"We came here with a game plan and it got killed after three minutes,” she said. “It was really disappointing the way that we performed in the first half.
"Especially in the first half, it felt like we were just conceding goal after goal and that was so frustrating. I think the game started the exact opposite of how we’d planned. We’re all disappointed with how we performed tonight.
“I think you could see in our performance in the first twenty minutes that the first goal really rocked us. That pushed us down and our confidence was gone immediately. It’s so early to concede a goal and we were just frustrated after that.”
From then it was just about showing character and showing everyone that we’re a group that can stick together until the end
Heading into the break 4-0 down, Vetterlein insisted the second half was about sticking to their task and forgetting the mistakes of the opening 45 minutes.
She revealed: “When we came in at half-time, we sat down as a group and knew the game was basically over. From then it was just about showing character and showing everyone that we’re a group that can stick together until the end.
“We wanted to prove that we could match Chelsea at least in the second half and we showed in that half that we could compete, even though we were four goals behind.”
The Hammers' performances in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup have been a real positive this season, reaching the semi-final stage for the first time in their history.
“We’re disappointed because we were so close,” Vetterlein said. “When you’re in a semi-final you’re only one game away from playing in a big final where you have a good chance of winning something.”
West Ham must now dust themselves down and regroup ahead of two important Women’s Super League fixtures against teams around them in the table.
“It is how it is; now our focus is on the next games against Bristol City and Brighton,” the defender concluded.
"They’re both big games and we have to perform in those. What happened tonight will be analysed and we’ll look forward to the next game."
West Ham United women continue their Barclays Women’s Super League campaign against Bristol City at Dagenham and Redbridge Stadium on Sunday 7 February. Kick-off is at 3pm.