Mackenzie Arnold: If West Ham United Women take chances it becomes a different game


Saturday’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Aston Villa was West Ham United Women’s first point of the new Barclays FA Women’s Super League campaign. 

However, for goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold there was little to celebrate, as her side had been minutes away from taking all three points - had Remi Allen not found the net to share the spoils with the away side. 

Her frustration was evident at the full-time whistle: 

It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to get the win today, Arnold told 

“I want to give credit to the backline – it was tough to keep them out for as long as we did because we were under quite a bit of pressure in that second half. 

It’s frustrating because we were so close, but we need to learn from this experience and make sure it doesn’t happen again this season.”

The Hammers made a superb start in east London, with Adriana Leon firing in the first goal of the new campaign after some great work from Lisa Evans to win the ball back high up the pitch. 

There were then chances to double that lead, Leon went close again, forcing Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton into a smart save. 

Dagny Brynjarsdottir could have wrapped the game up in the second half, but her powerful header was straight at Hampton – all chances that the home side will now rue after the last gasp equaliser.

I think we need to put our chances away earlier so we can be on the front foot

Mackenzie Arnold

“If we take those chances, it becomes a different game,” Arnold insisted.  

“That’s something we need to improve on moving forward. We had lots of opportunities in the first half and one big chance in the second, so we need to be making more of those. 

“I think we need to put our chances away earlier so we can be on the front foot. But to be honest the overall feeling is disappointment because we were so close to all three points.”

Arnold was impressive in the second half, making two vitals saves to deny Shania Hayles and Allen from close range late on. But the 27-year-old couldn’t focus on her own individual performance, rather on how the team need to bounce back when they take on Leicester City on Sunday 26 September at the Chigwell Construction Stadium. 

“I haven’t really given too much thought to my own performance to be honest, it’s just disappointing to lose the three points right at the end. I was happy with my game, but my focus is on the team and trying to get our first win on the board.

"I suppose if we look at it from another perspective, it’s our first point of the season and we have something to build on now. We’re back here against Leicester with another chance to pick up all three points, so we need to take the lessons from our opening two matches and try and do better.” 

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