Lisa Evans

Evans: We worked really hard for each other and it paid off

Lisa Evans was pleased that West Ham United Women were able to make a winning start to the new Barclays Women’s Super League season on Sunday. 

The Hammers beat Everton 1-0 at Chigwell Construction Stadium, with the Scotland international heading in the only goal of the game just before half-time. 

On his managerial debut, Paul Konchesky’s team had to stand firm at times, particularly at the end of the second half when the visitors started to flood forward in numbers. 

However, it would be Evans and her team-mates and Claret and Blue who would be victorious in east London, getting the new season off to the best possible start.

“It’s great to start with three points,” Evans told West Ham TV. “We’ve had a little bit of a tough pre-season where some of the results we picked up weren’t what we wanted, but I think we showed today that a lot of hard work and fight can get you a long, long way.”

“The first half performance especially was really good from us, we had quite a few chances and looked really good on the counter-attack and then in the second half we defended for our lives in the closing stages. 

“We worked really hard for each other, and it paid off in the end.”


The Hammers had the better of the play in the opening 45 minutes, with summer signings Viviane Asseyi and Honoka Hayashi going close with efforts. 

However, after Evans had put her side in front, Everton looked to respond in the second half, but they couldn’t find a way past a stubborn West Ham defence who worked incredibly hard all afternoon. 

Evans was full of praise for the work-rate of her teammates both defensively and offensively.

“A clean sheet is always what you want, and it was a reward for how hard we worked,” she confirmed. “We’ve not had many throughout pre-season, so it was pleasing to get one today. It was nice to know that we can work hard and defend well as a group, and I think we saw that today. 

“The goal epitomised the game really, it was a bit scrappy to be honest. You can expect that from a season opener. Both teams are not yet at their best but at the end of the day that doesn’t matter, we’ve come out on the winning side and that’s exactly what we wanted.

“We still need a little bit more time together as it’s a new group, but for the most part I thought the new players linked in really well. I thought that Smudger (Kirsty Smith), [Jess] Ziu and Viviane were fantastic, and our Japanese double act (Hayashi and Shimizu) were really good as well.”

Lisa Evans scores against Everton in September 2022

The West Ham United faithful were back in numbers, cheering the team onto victory at Chigwell Construction Stadium, with many staying long after the full-time whistle to take selfies with their heroes. 

Evans says those fans will have a huge part to play in shaping the team's home form this season. 

“We want to make this place a fortress, we want to make it really hard for teams to come and play – as we did last season where our home form in the early parts of the season really helped us push on," she continued. “A lot of teams came here and found it difficult, and we want to do that again and build our season from that foundation. 

“The fans were right behind is – it’s not been the same without all of them here. We’ve seen a couple of them at the pre-season matches but it doesn’t have the same feel as it does for a competitive game here. Like I said, we want to make this place a fortress and they can play a massive part in that. It helps us push all the way, you could see the work rate as we went into added time and the crowd really helped with that.”

And the Hammers fans don’t have to wait long to be back watching the team, with Manchester United making the trip to the Capital on Sunday 25 September. 

The Irons held the Red Devils to a 1-1 draw at home last season, and Evans is hoping that the momentum from their opening day win will help them going into what will be another tough test in the WSL. 

“It's great to have that momentum going into the game against Manchester United. We know that we did well against them here last season when Fisky (Grace Fisk) scored a late equaliser," Evans concluded.

"We know that they’ve strengthened, and it will be a really difficult game, but it’s one that we’re more than capable of competing in.”

The Women's team are back in action this weekend, when they welcome Manchester United to the Chigwell Construction Stadium in the Barclays WSL. Tickets are on sale now priced from just £13 for Adults and £5 for Juniors!