Hammers fall to new leaders Manchester City
PUBLISHED: 16:58 13 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:59 13 January 2019
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WSL: West Ham Women 1 Manchester City women 3
West Ham Women fell to a third consecutive defeat in a week as they lost 3-1 to title challengers Manchester City.
Goals from Caroline Weir, Lauren Hemp and Nikita Parris sealed the three points for the Blues and move them to top of the Women’s Super League – despite a brief fight back from the Hammers thanks to Jane Ross at Rush Green Stadium.
Head coach Matt Beard handed new signing Adriana Leon her first start since joining the club earlier that day.
While, his other new addition Cho So-Hyun was named on the bench for the clash, with the other notable change being goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse coming in for Becky Spencer.
It was a slow start for the Hammers as captain Gilly Flaherty gave the ball away to City’s Nikita Parris but her effort was blocked by Ria Percival.
They did however start pushing forward and it was new signing Leon who tried to flick the ball over the top of goalkeeper Elle Roebuck from an incoming cross from Clare Rafferty.
The 30-year-old had the ball played back to her by attacker Alisha Lehmann who broke clear down the left.
The Swiss forward then fired straight into the arms of Roebuck just moments later after running onto a flick on from American Brianna Visalli.
But in the 15th minute it was City who opened the scoring against a run of play as Caroline Weird went in behind the Hammers defence, before breaking clear and slotting past Moorhouse and into the bottom corner.
It was almost de ja vu 12 minutes later when the visitors Lauren Hemp burst up the pitch onto a loose ball.
The 18-year-old forward beat Vyan Sampson but fired an effort into the hands of Moorhouse.
In the 32nd minute Scottish International Jane Ross made a swift turn to cut inside, putting it on a plate for Rafferty, but the former Chelsea star missed the ball.
Canadian Leon then won the ball and whipped it in for Lehmann but she sent her shot over the bar as the hosts searched for an equaliser.
The Blues forward Hemp then lobbed keeper Moorhouse on the counter attack in the 39th minute to double her side’s lead.
Two minutes before the break West Ham thought they’d pulled one back as they tried to bundle home a Rafferty corner.
Early in the second-half the hosts were put under the cosh by City and captain Flaherty was forced to clear the ball off the line as Hemp raced past Percival and fired an effort on goal.
Ten minutes later after weathering the storm, West Ham reduced the score line, as Ross slotted a shot into the net after Lehmann blocked a clearance from the City defence to play the Scot through on goal.
The Hammers kept pushing for an equaliser but in the 70th minute City broke clear and Moorhouse had to pull off a huge save to deny substitute Janine Beckie.
After some positive attempts from the hosts, City put the nail in the coffin as Nikita Parris netted with four minutes left, after being picked out by substitute Janine Beckie.
The 24-year-old Canadian raced clear after West Ham midfielder Brianna Visalli played the ball into her by accident.
West Ham Women: Moorhouse, Percival, Flaherty, Lehmann, Ross, Rafferty, Longhurst, Sampson (Simon 60), Visalli, Reichardt (So-Hyun 60), Leon (Kmita 71)
Unused subs: Spencer.
Manchester City Women: Roebuck, Stokes, Bonner, Beattie, Houghton, Scott, Stanway, Hemp (Beckie 65), Paris, Weir, Walsh.
Unused subs: Bardsley, Lawley, Bremen, Morgan, McManus, Park.