Reaction: West Ham United 2 Blues Women 2
Head Coach Carla Ward was delighted to see her side score a late equaliser against West Ham United on Wednesday night.
Emily Murphy had given Blues the lead at half-time, but second-half strikes from Emily van Egmond and Katerina Svitkova put the Hammers ahead.
With the last attack of the game, Blues equalised. Sarah Mayling whipped a dangerous cross into the area and Ruby Mace arrived at the back post to volley in.
Ward was proud of the players’ desire and attitude to keep on going until the last second, in what was a crucial game for the side.
Speaking to the media post-match, she said: “It was a huge moment in our season. It was important not to lose the game and for Ruby to put the ball in the back of the net at that moment, well my heart is still racing now.
“Honestly, I’m delighted, we showed great character at the end because we weren’t at our best in the second-half.”
After going behind, Ward opted to rally her troops and give them some extra drive going into the final minutes.
She explained: “The message was to relax and be patient. It was frantic, we wanted them to relax and settle a bit. The last five minutes we threw the kitchen sink at them and got the goal that I think we deserved and on the balance of things, it was probably a fair point.
“I didn’t see it coming, which is partly why I ended up sprinting down the touchline. They are an absolute credit to work with.”
Hannah Hampton made an important save in the second-half to deny Martha Thomas, a moment that Ward hailed as ‘game-changing'.
She said: “That save one-on-one was huge, game-changing. Hannah Hampton has got that in her locker, she’s made sure we stayed in the game. That save was nothing but outstanding.”
Blues started the second-half with ten players whilst Claudia Walker received treatment for a head injury in the first-half, and the head coach explained the reason behind her decision.
Ward said: “We had a decision to make with Clauds because she had a nasty cut to her head, but she is crucial to what we do, and we didn’t want to take her off if we didn’t have to. She had stitches put in at half-time to help her.”