1. A first win of the new campaign
Having been cruelly denied in the closing stages against Aston Villa in the Hammers’ last Barclays FA Women’s Super League home match earlier this month, the east Londoners would not be denied this time - running out 4-0 winners in east London.
They were ruthless in their waves of attacks that they inflicted on Leicester City, who couldn’t cope with the work rate and application shown from Olli Harder’s players.
The manager had been calling for clinical finishing, and he got that against the Foxes, with Tameka Yallop and Claudia Walker both taking their chances with precision.
It was also West Ham United Women’s first ever victory at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, with the fans making their appreciation for the team’s performance known at the full-time whistle with loud cheers and applause.
2. Tameka Yallop’s debut delight
It’s certainly been a long time coming, but Tameka Yallop’s debut for West Ham United didn’t disappoint.
The industrious midfielder was at the heart of everything good for the Hammers, as she scored twice to help Harder’s side secure victory.
Yallop, who has previously played under the New Zealander at Norwegian side, Klepp IL, caused real problems for the Leicester backline with her runs in behind the defence, and was able to slot away her first goal doing just that – as Kate Longhurst supplied the assist with a sumptuous ball down the line.
And she was heavily involved in the Hammers’ fourth of the afternoon – Yallop connecting with a Yui Hasegawa cross, and her header bounced off the crossbar and into the net via Foxes goalkeeper, Kirsty Levell.
Yallop had a team high of four shots during the game against Leicester, and also completed eight ball recoveries for the team.
3. Claudia Walker off the mark in Claret & Blue
It’s not often that you get two players scoring their first goals for the club in the same match – but Claudia Walker also got herself off the mark in Claret & Blue with a well taken goal inside the area.
Walker had notched a brace in pre-season against Lewes but will be even more delighted that she has been able to score her first competitive goal for the Hammers.
The former Birmingham City forward was key in holding up the ball against the physical back three of Leicester and was able to win her individual battles throughout the game and bring others into play.
4. Katerina Svitkova's return from injury
It’s been a long road to recovery for Katerina Svitkova. The Czech Republic international suffered an ankle injury against Aston Villa towards the back end of the last season, which required surgery during the off-season.
Svitkova has worked incredibly hard with our medical and coaching staff to get herself back and fit ahead of schedule – and her reward for that was returning to the field against Leicester City at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
5. Brooke Cairns’ professional debut
It was an afternoon to remember for 18-year-old midfielder Brooke Cairns, who made her first ever professional appearance when she entered the field to replace Yui Hasegawa.
Cairns arrived in east London this summer having spent time in the academies of both Liverpool and Everton, as well as featuring for England at U16, U17 and U18 level.
And the midfielder has worked hard during pre-season and deserved her opportunity to come in the closing stages for her landmark appearance.
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