Harder: We’re really pleased to come away with the win

Olli Harder was pleased that his West Ham United side bounced back from a run of three defeats in a row, as they beat Reading 2-1 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium. 

The Hammers controlled the majority of the match, creating a whole host of opportunities in the opening 45 minutes without finding the back of the net. 

Emma Snerle bagged her first goal for the Club just after the break, and Yui Hasegawa scored her sides second of the game with a wonderfully composed finish as the full-time whistle was approaching. 

Faye Bryson netted in a consolation right at the end, but Harder was pleased with the dominant performance West Ham. 

“We’re really pleased to come away with the win,” Harder told whufc.com. “I thought that we were excellent value in the first half. 

“To come out in the second half and get the goal that we deserved at the time that we did was crucial. From there, we grew into the game a little bit, but overall, we’re really pleased with the result. 

“The team showed resilience again today, we had to bounce back after the disappointment of losing the semi-final. They got back out there, played with control and showed great character as a group to get the victory.” 

Lisa Evans and Yui Hasegawa celebrate

The Irons had seven efforts on target in Berkshire and 21 in total throughout the game, their highest totals for this season. Chances were plentiful in the first half, but efforts from Lisa Evans, Adriana Leon didn’t find their way into the back of the net. 

The game was certainly physical, and Harder was pleased that the Hammers were able to overcome a tough opponent. 

“They’re a really tough team that has a very good coach in Kelly Chambers. They’re a well drilled outfit that works hard, and also makes you work hard for everything. It’s a huge pitch to play on here as well, which can often make things difficult. 

“We never get an easy game in the WSL, but you also don’t get an easy game against Reading, so for us to establish the control that we did today, I was really pleased with that.

The boss was delighted that two of his midfielders scored the goals that secured the win but expressed his frustration at conceding late on. 

“I’m really pleased for Emma [Snerle], we decided to bring her into the starting line-up and she repaid us with a goal. Congratulations to her for scoring her first goal for the club, I’m sure she’s buzzing, and we’re really pleased for her. 

“It was a bit frustrating that we conceded, which made Yui’s [Hasegawa] goal that little bit more important in the end – but her goal came from something that we’d been working on out on the training pitch, so it’s always nice when that comes off.”

It was a special day for Kate Longhurst, who made her 100th appearance for the Club against Reading. 

And Harder was full of praise for the 32-year-old at the full-time whistle. 

“Kate has been a fantastic asset to me in my 18 months in charge here and is somebody who’s thriving. She’s played in midfield, at wing-back and at centre half today, she’s somebody that is versatile, humble, but also very passionate about being a West Ham player. 

“For me, this win is for her and I’m delighted we were able to put in a good performance to go with it.”