Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 West Ham United
(West Ham United win 4-2 on penalties)
FA Women’s Continental League Cup – Group D
The People’s Pension Stadium
Wednesday 7 October 2020
Alisha Lehmann fired home the winning penalty in a frantic shoot-out, after Gilly Flaherty’s late-leveller earned West Ham United at least a share of the points against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Rachel Daly’s first goal in Claret and Blue had put the Hammers in front, but Megan Connolly levelled before half-time. Substitute Rianna Jarrett gave Brighton the lead, but captain Flaherty headed home from a corner kick to take the match to the shoot-out.
Both sides would miss spot-kicks but, after Courtney Brosnan’s fine save, substitute Lehmann stepped up to fire home the winning effort.
A bright start to the match at the People’s Pension Stadium saw Adriana Leon’s long-ranged shot blocked, before Fliss Gibbons wasted an opportunity for the home side on ten minutes.
Both sides enjoyed possession, looking for the break-through, with Daly going close on the half-hour mark. The England international shuffled into the penalty area with possession of the ball, and drove a left-footed shot on goal. It was denied by Cecilie Fiskerstrand.
Less than a minute later, the Irons had the deserved lead with arguably the move of the game. Cecilie Redisch and Kenza Dali combined to play in Leon on the right flank, with the Canadian skipping into the edge of the area before playing a low ball across the six yard box.
Daly was there, right place at the right time, to gratefully gobble up her first goal for West Ham.
Brighton threatened to hit back, striking the post from Guen Min Lee’s long-range effort, before the Hammers had an opportunity to double the advantage; Leanne Kiernan’s low volley being blocked on the line.
The home side would go in level at the interval, finding the net from a set-play. The deep cross met the head of Connolly, who diverted the ball into the corner of the net.
Courtney Brosnan was forced into a smart save at the start of the second period, as the downpour really began to come down in Crawley.
Leon had the opportunity to give the Irons the advantage as she controlled the deep cross from Maz Pacheco. The Canadian’s touch was great, as was the strike, but Fiskerstrand was able to palm the effort away.
Brighton took the lead on the hour mark with Jarrett stabbing home from close-range, after a corner caused confusion in the Hammers area, leaving the Irons needing to find a goal to force penalties.
Up stepped the captain, Flaherty, to meet a corner and divert it into the net to make the score 2-2 on 82 minutes.
The final score ended level and, with that came the penalty shoot-out to determine the allocation of the extra point. Up stepped Emily van Egmond to tuck home, as did Ruby Grant.
Daly’s effort was off the cross-bar, but with Maz Pacheco scoring, and Courtney Brosnan superbly denying Bowman, all Alisha Lehmann had to do was tuck home. She did, sending the Irons back to east London with two points.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Fiskerstrand; Gibbons (Whelan 46), Bowman (c), Kerkdijk, Le Tissier (Green 46); Connolly, Lee (Jarrett 56), Heroum, O'Sullivan (Kaagman 80), Barton, Williams
Subs not used: Walsh, Stott, Simpkins, Longhurst
Goals: Connolly 42, Jarrett 61
West Ham United: Brosnan; Redisch, Flaherty (c), Fisk, Pacheco; Longhurst (Grant 69), Van Egmond, Dali; Kiernan (Lehmann 69), Daly, Leon (Nor 78)
Subs not used: Arnold, Cruickshank, Dunbar, Joel,
Goals: Daly 31, Flaherty 82