West Ham reach Continental Cup last four with win over Durham
- Credit: PA
West Ham United Women booked their spot in the Continental Cup semi-finals and set up a clash with Women's Super League holders Chelsea after a 3-0 win over Durham on Thursday night.
'The Hammers who started brightly when, Adriana Leon was nearly played in but she was denied by a good challenge from Kathryn Hill before she could get a shot away on goal.
On 17 minutes West Ham were awarded a free-kick when Hill brought down the Canadian international Leon before Kateřina Svitková saw her effort cleared away.
Durham had a sight on goal on 21 minutes when Molly Sharp played in Mollie Lambert but Cho So-hyun stopped her getting a shot away on goal.
Olli Harder's side then could have broken the deadlock in the 34th minute when Svitková broke into the box before cutting the ball back to Leon but she fired wide from close range.
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Durham were then inches away from taking the lead when Sarah Robson had her shot saved by Mackenzie Arnold in the West Ham goal as she tipped the ball over the top.
However West Ham took the lead on 40 minutes when Durham failed to clear a corner and Emily Van Egmond stabbed home her sixth goal of the season after Svitková flicked the ball on.
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Two minutes later and it was 2-0 when the impressive Leon charged forward before picking out Svitková and she slid in her first goal since moving to the club in the summer.
It was Durham who had the first opening of the second half when half time substitute Bridget Galloway was immediately involved when the former Sunderland star broke into the box but hit her effort straight at Arnold.
On 58 minutes the game could have been done and dusted when Leon was played in but Hannah Reid made an excellent save before reacting well to pounce on the loose ball.
A minute later and it was the turn of Scottish International Martha Thomas to cause problems for the Championship side but she headed well wide from a corner.
It was Thomas again who nearly had West Ham's third when she met a cross but her powerful header was somehow tipped away by the astonishing reactions of Reid in the visitors goal.
It was turning into the Reid show as with twenty minutes left to play Svitková was played in on goal and before she could slot into the net the keeper made a tremendous save to stop her adding a second.
Svitková and Reid were having their own individual battle as on 74 minutes the keeper denied her again as she pushed away her low strike around the post.
However Durham then were so nearly back in the game when Beth Hepple set Sharpe away down the left before her cross aiming for Galloway was punched away by Arnold in the Hammers goal.
However West Ham were then to score their third when Hawa Cissoko was on hand to head in a corner and her first goal for the club to seal a more comfortable victory with five minutes left.
There was time for one last chance for the home side when Nor Mustafa made space for herself to get a shot away but she got under the ball and shanked it over the crossbar.
West Ham Arnold, Redisch, Fisk, Flaherty, Vetterlein, Pacheco, Longhurst, Van Egmond, Cho So-hyun, Svitková, Leon.
Subs used: Thomas, Cissoko, Joel, Mustafa.