Hammers beat Durham to reach Continental League Cup semi-finals

Katerina Svitkova

West Ham United 3-0 Durham Women
FA Women’s Continental League Cup
Thursday 21 January 2021

West Ham United made it through to the semi-finals of the FA Women’s Continental League Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over Durham Women at the Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium.

First half strikes from Emily van Egmond and Katerina Svitková put the Hammers in a controlling position before Hawa Cissoko headed home a third late on.

The win was Olli Harder’s first in charge of West Ham United, having taken charge of the women's team in late December.

The Irons will now head to Kingsmeadow to play Chelsea in the semi-finals on February 3rd/4th.

West Ham United began the evening on the front foot against the visitors but found clear-cut chances hard to come by.

The Hammers looked to play wide where possible with Maz Pacheco and Adriana Leon both looking a threat down the left-hand side, despite their final ball missing the mark.

Once more, the high pressing style of the new Women’s manager Olli Harder was evident. Durham struggled to find a way up the pitch and looked content to defend deep and withstand wave after wave of Hammers pressure.

For all their attacking efforts, the Hammers had to wait over half an hour for their first opportunity. Katerina Svitková skipped past her marker down the right and delivered a cross towards the front post. The advancing Leon met it first but the No19 failed to turn her header goalward.

Durham stuck to their task well throughout the first period, frustrating West Ham whilst looking to pick up the pieces on the counter. Lee Sander’s side provided a timely reminder of their threat when Mollie Lambert took aim from the range. The midfielder’s effort was thwarted by Mackenzie Arnold at full stretch.

The pressure finally told on the Durham defence in the 40th minute. A headed clearance from a corner fell to Svitkova on the edge of the box, the midfielder’s half volley dropped to the feet of Van Egmond, who managed to swivel and turn the ball past Hannah Reid to give West Ham a deserved advantage.

Van Egmond’s sixth goal of the season was quickly followed by Katerina Svitková’s first for the Club.

Having taken the lead moments earlier, the Hammers drove forward again down the left wing. Leon was released courtesy of a lofted pass from Laura Vetterlein. The Canadian international beat the Durham defence for pace before squaring to Svitková to pass into an empty net and send the Hammers into the interval two-goals to the good.

After the break, the victors looked to seize the momentum through half-time substitute Bridget Galloway. A neat passing move found the winger in space and after twisting past Laura Vetterlein, she fashioned a low effort that stung the palms of Arnold.

Durham, who had been unbeaten so far this season, pieced together their best spell of pressure immediately after the restart.

The Hammers dug in well, whilst continuing to threaten from the wide areas. Van Egmond was unlucky not to score her second and West Ham’s third after connecting well with Martha Thomas’ cross. The midfielder’s downward header was spectacularly kept out by a sprawling Reid in the Durham goal.

It was the visitor’s keeper who remained the busier as the half wore on, first Svitkova was denied by Reid from close range before Leon fired the rebound straight at the stopper with the goal gaping.

West Ham United continued to try and increase their lead and were rewarded with just five minutes to go, Hawa Cissoko climbed highest to meet a Kate Longhurst corner to increase the lead to three with her first goal in Claret and Blue.

Cissoko’s goal put the cherry on top of a dominant display by West Ham as they sealed their progression in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup.

The Irons now head to Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Women’s Continental League cup with the tie to be played on 3/4th of February.

West Ham United Women: Arnold (GK), Redisch (Joel 71’), Fisk (Cissoko 65’), Flaherty ©, Vetterlein, Pacheco (Thomas 46’), Longhurst, Cho, Van Egmond,Svitková, Leon Nor84’)

Subs not used: Brosnan (GK), Kiernan, Lehmann,

Goals: Van Egmond 40’, Svitková 43’, Cissoko 84’

Durham Women: Reid (GK), Hill, Lambert, Wilson ©, Robson (Greenwood 76’), Hepple, Sharpe, Salicki, Bradley (Galloway 46’), Christon, Holmes (Roberts 46’)

Subs not used: Borthwick (GK), Brown,