Jess Ziu admitted that West Ham United women’s team were hurting after their 1-0 defeat to Everton on Sunday afternoon.
The Hammers created numerous chances at Chigwell Construction Stadium in their final home fixture of the calendar year, with former West Ham United goalkeeper, Courtney Brosnan denying her ex-employers on several occasions.
The home side would rue those missed opportunities when Karen Holmgaard headed in on 63 minutes from a corner kick, firmly against the run of play.
And whilst Rehanne Skinner’s side continued to search for an equaliser right until the end, they couldn’t find a way through Brosnan and a stern Everton backline.
Ziu, who was making her first start in Claret & Blue for over 14 months was hugely disappointed that her side couldn’t take anything from the game.
“It’s a tough one to take,” the Republic of Ireland international told whufc.com. “I do think the girls put a really good shift in, and we were able to create four or five clear cut chances.
“One of those fell to myself and I should have put it away. So yeah, it’s quite hard to take the result knowing that we were the team that created the better opportunities and were on top.
“That’s why we’re all hurting, because we all feel as though we deserved to come away with the win for the chances that we were able to make. But that’s football I guess, if you don’t take your chances, you’ll get punished in this league.”
Ziu was back in the starting line-up for the first time since October 2022, where the winger was sidelined with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury that would keep her out for over a year.
She has been slowly building up her minutes over previous games, and played just over 70 minutes in east London on Sunday.
“It’s a bittersweet moment. It would have been nice to have come away with a win, but it’s great to be back with the girls and get a start under my belt.
“It’s been the biggest mental and physical battle that I’ve ever had, I’m only young but it has been so hard. Like I’ve said in other interview, I had a really good support system around me and they’ve pushed me every day.
“I’m thankful that Rehanne gave me the opportunity to start today, and hopefully we can move on from this game and pick up some points next week against Leicester.”