West Ham United women's team 0-1 Everton
Barclays Women's Super League, Chigwell Construction Stadium, Sunday 10 December 2023
West Ham United women’s team were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Everton in their final home fixture of 2023.
Karen Holmgaard's header from a corner on 63 minutes would prove to be the difference at Chigwell Construction Stadium, as the Hammers could not find a way past an inspired Courtney Brosnan.
Riko Ueki and Viviane Asseyi were both denied on several occasions by the Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper as the Hammers controlled proceedings for much of the game. However, they could not find a way back into the contest, and slipped to defeat.
The visitors had the first opportunity of the match inside the first five minutes. A surging run from Claire Wheeler saw her dig out a cross for Nicoline Sorensen, but the effort sailed way over the crossbar. Two minutes later, and West Ham threatened as Viviane Asseyi weaved inside and was able to get a shot away, but her effort trickled wide of Brosnan’s left-hand post.
In an end-to-end opening 25 minutes, Toni Duggan was next to go close for the Blues, but her effort also landed the wrong side of the post.
Then, Jess Ziu, who was making her first start in over 14 months, had an opportunity to open the scoring after Kirsty Smith had done well on the left. The pull-back from Smith found the Republic of Ireland international, but she could not quite find an angle to hit the target, and the shot was blocked and cleared.
Whilst both sides struggled from then on to create anything clear cut until the half-time whistle, the Irons were vigorous in their press, and created opportunities that they unfortunately failed to convert.
Both sides had chances early in the second half. First, Japan centre-forward Ueki tested Brosnan after good work from Ziu on the byline. Everton then moved up the other end and Megan Walsh was alive to an effort from Katja Snoeijs.
Just before the hour mark, Asseyi worked space for herself once again, twisting away from Everton defenders and getting a shot off that stung the hands of Brosnan.
Then, the Everton goalkeeper pulled off a miraculous save. More neat play from the Irons saw the ball worked to Ueki, who curled a strike that the former West Ham United goalkeeper was somehow able to tip onto the post.
Everton had seen decent success from set-pieces in recent times, and they would open the scoring against the run of play from a corner kick. The ball from Sara Holmgaard found the head of her twin-sister, Karen, who converted from close range on 63 minutes.
The Hammers threatened again, as Ueki flicked a header into the path of Asseyi late on, but the France international was unable to stretch far enough to get a touch on the ball to score a deserved equaliser.
Having dropped to the bottom of the WSL table, the Irons will seek to end the calendar year on a high note when they travel to eighth-place Leicester City for their final fixture of 2023 on Sunday 17 December. Kick-off at King Power Stadium is at 3pm.
West Ham United: Walsh, Evans (Harries 90+3), Shimizu, Cissoko (c), Tysiak (Cooke 70), Smith, Stringer, Hayashi (Filis 71), Ziu (Atkinson 71), Asseyi, Ueki.
Unused Subs: O'Hanlon, Denton, Stapleton, Ademiluyi, Flannery.
Everton: Brosnan, Finnigan (c), Bjorn (K. Holmgaard 55) , S.Holmgaard (Campbell 81), Wheeler, Payne, Bennison, Galli, Sorensen, Snoeijs (Aherne 90+7, Duggan (Bissell 65).
Unused Subs: Ramsey, Wilding, Olesen.
Goal: K.Holmgaard 63
Booking: Finnigan 34