SSE Women’s FA Cup Final: West Ham’s Beard ‘so proud’
PUBLISHED: 10:30 05 May 2019
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West Ham Women’s manager Matt Beard was ‘so proud’ after SSE FA Cup Final defeat against Manchester City at Wembley in a ‘game of two halves’.
The Hammers went closest to scoring in a disciplined first-half display, when a Jane Ross header was pushed wide by Karen Bardsley, as favourites City were given plenty to think about.
But Keira Walsh opened the scoring seven minutes after the resart, with late goals from Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp sealing a 3-0 win for City.
Walsh's goal was a strike from almost 30 yards out that it appeared goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse should have done better with, Stanway shot low into the bottom corner, and Hemp guided the ball past the outrushing Moorhouse in cool fashion.
It was a fine achievement for West Ham to have reached the final – the first time they have done so – with them only becoming a professional outfit last summer.
Hammers boss Matt Beard said: “It was a game of two halves, wasn't it? I thought first half we did well.
“The first goal changes the game. The first and the third goal, could we have done better? Probably, yes. But Anna Moorhouse for me has been fantastic this year. You have to take the chances when we have them. I think ultimately that's what it boiled down to.
“City deserved to win. But when you look at what we've created in such a short space of time as a club, I'm so proud of everyone that's been connected with it.”
Manchester City boss Nick Cushing praised his players for the professionalism they had shown in the second half to see off the valiant Hammers.
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A crowd of 43,264, just below last season's record figure of 45,423, saw City complete a domestic double, following their Continental Tyres Cup final success in February.
“We're proud that we've added the FA Cup to the Conti Cup this season,” said Cushing.
“I thought West Ham were excellent but I expected them to be good, to play on the counter-attack and cause us problems.
“I thought we were just a little bit emotional and that the occasion affected our offensive play.
“So we had some little shifts to do and we asked them to just settle down and play logically and be controlled.
“And second half I thought they looked comfortable and the way that we have won games this season, and we went on and controlled the game.
“In the second half I thought they were excellent, really professional, really controlled. And three goals and a clean sheet - we're really pleased with that.”
After their second FA Cup crown and sixth major honour, City remain unbeaten in domestic competition this season, but missed out on the WSL title to Arsenal, who they visit on the last day of the season next weekend.
Cushing added: “The flip side is we should have won the league. We feel Arsenal deserve the league, but we don't feel they were better than us.
“We have to look at the logical reasoning and go 'how do we make sure we don't draw games next year' (they have drawn five WSL matches this season), while retaining all the good things we had this year.”