REPORT: Blues Women 3 West Ham Women 0
Blues Women cruised to a 3-0 victory over West Ham Women.
They bounced back from defeat against Arsenal Women with first-half goals from captain Kerys Harrop and Emma Follis, which gave Blues a comfortable lead going into the break. Lucy Staniforth wrapped up the three points with a cool finish in the second half.
Hayley Ladd returned to the first XI after her suspension and Paige Williams was back in at right-back.
Fresh off the back of her second start for England Women, Staniforth pulled the strings in the midfield from the first whistle. She got Blues off on the front foot, as she looked to put the ball beyond the West Ham backline marshalled by Gilly Flaherty. However, Blues were pegged back by the offside flag.
West Ham though were the first to test the goalkeeper. Alisha Lehmann’s shot was blocked on the line by Harrop, which sent it round the post for a corner. The resultant action called Ann-Katrin Berger into action as Jane Ross’ volley needed saving.
Five minutes later, Blues were in front. Staniforth whipped in a dangerous cross from the corner. They executed a corner routine to perfection as Harrop ran in and headed home. Former Blues ‘keeper Becky Spencer tried her best to keep it out, but the referee gave the goal.
They doubled their lead through Follis, who notched her second goal in two games. Chloe Arthur was instrumental in the making of the goal. She held off West Ham’s attempts to nick the ball from her feet and played a splendid ball through to the on-rushing Follis. The striker dinked it over the top of Spencer and wheeled off in celebration.
At the start of the second half, Harriet Scott’s header was brilliantly saved by Spencer and denied the defender her first goal for the club.
In an end-to-end game, Blues continued to push. This time it was Staniforth’s corner that once again tested. The in-swinging effort fooled everyone and had to be batted away by Spencer.
Although West Ham had tested Berger, Blues were the ones to capitalise on their chances. Williams played in Charlie Wellings with a lovely lofted ball. She evaded the offside trap and ran towards goal. Unselfishly, she squared it to Staniforth who slotted it past Spencer to make it three nil.
Blues:Ann-Katrin Berger, Paige Williams, Hayley Ladd, Kerys Harrop, Chloe Arthur, Sarah Mayling (Lucy Quinn 80’), Emma Follis, Charlie Wellings, Harriet Scott, Aoife Mannion, Lucy Staniforth (Connie Scofield 90’).
Substitutes (not used): Hannah Hampton, Shania Hayles.
Goals: Harrop 19’, Follis 40’, Staniforth 79’
West Ham:Becky Spencer, Erin Simon, Brooke Hendrix (Claire Rafferty 83’), Gilly Flaherty, Alisha Lehmann, Leanne Kierman (Rosie Kmita 88’), Jane Ross, Julia Simic, Kate Longhurst, Brianna Visalli (Lucienne Reichardt 73’), Esmee de Graff.
Substitutes (not used): Anna Moorhouse, Vyan Sampson.
Referee: Stacey Pearson