Hardworking Hammers fall short against Manchester City
West Ham United 0-1 Manchester City
Barclays FA Women's Super League
Sunday 9 May 2021
West Ham United Women were narrowly defeated 1-0 at Victoria Road on Sunday afternoon, as a solitary goal from Ellen White gave Manchester City all three points on the final day of the season.
Mackenzie Arnold was in superb form, saving two penalty kicks in each half as the Hammers battled against City, who finished 2nd in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table.
Leanne Kiernan also returned for the first time since November, in welcomed news for Olli Harder, who was missing several players due to injury.
The New Zealander made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Aston Villa at Villa Park last weekend.
Maisy Barker and Anouk Denton made their first starts in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, as they replaced injured duo Emily van Egmond and Cecilie Redisch.
Laura Vetterlein also returned to the starting XI, replacing Martha Thomas, who joins van Egmond and Redisch on the treatment table.
Manchester City had the game’s opening chance as Sam Mewis testing the palms of Mackenzie Arnold from range just moments into the contest.
The away side continued their dominance in the opening 15 minutes, as they looked to hunt Chelsea down and claim top spot in the WSL.
West Ham continued to defend resolutely, with Grace Fisk and Gilly Flaherty, who was making her 150th WSL appearance, alert on two separate occasions to clear away dangerous crosses into the area.
The Hammers then had the chance to open the scoring in quite incredible fashion. Hawa Cissoko raced past two players before arriving to meet Kenza Dali's lofted cross. The French defender almost pulled off the audacious bicycle kick, but the effort landed narrowly wide of the post.
Manchester City responded on 23 minutes, as a superb effort from Caroline Weir was denied emphatically by Arnold, as she tipped the fierce shot onto the crossbar, with Flaherty on hand to clear up the danger.
Flaherty had to be in the right place at the right time again to deny the Citizens, as she cleared the ball off the line just minutes later.
The Hammers were on the back foot, but were still able to create some good opportunities. Kenza Dali found herself free inside the area after a pinpoint ball from Maz Pacheco, however she was crowded out at the vital moment.
With 38 minutes gone, Mackenzie Arnold was beaten to the ball by Ellen White, conceding the penalty kick. The Australian goalkeeper picked herself back up and denied Sam Mewis from the spot with a great save low down to her right.
When the half-time whistle sounded in east London, the Hammers remained firmly still in the contest.
Manchester City started the second half without the zip that they had played with in the opening period but should have been ahead shortly after the restart. Esme Morgan headed onto the crossbar and then Mewis did the same seconds later as West Ham continued to ride their luck.
The Citizens couldn’t find a clear way through a resolute Hammers defence, as the home side continued to be plucky with their overall play.
A notable positive for West Ham United came in the 73rd minute. Irish forward Kiernan made her return from a long injury layoff, her first appearance since November.
Manchester City found the breakthrough at Victoria Road with 76 minutes on the clock, Lucy Bronze crossing for Ellen White, who stabbed the ball home from close range.
They almost had a second moments later, Hemp almost the beneficiary from a fierce cross from Kiera Walsh.
Hawa Cissoko clipped the feet of Mewis as she skipped by the central defender. The referee pointed to the post. Mackenzie Arnold guessed right once again and denied substitute Rose Lavelle from the spot.
It was a hardworking performance from the Hammers, who can be proud of their display in east London.
West Ham United Women: Arnold, Flaherty, Fisk, Cissoko, Barker (Kiernan 73), Denton, Longhurst, Pacheco, Vetterlein (Mustafa 82), Dali.
Booked: Cissoko 83
Manchester City Women: Benameur-Taieb, Stanway, Beckie (Lavelle 61), Morgan, Hemp (Park 90), White, Weir, Bronze, Mewis (Coombs 73), Walsh, Greenwood.
Subs: Keating, Davies, Coombs, Dahlkemper.
Goal: White 75
Interested in becoming a West Ham United Women's Season Ticket Holder? Register your interest by clicking here!