WSL: West Ham 0 Aston Villa 0
West Ham and Aston Villa had to settle for a goalless draw in a feisty encounter at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Olli Harder’s side remain in ninth position and continue to search their first home league win this season after the stalemate, while the point sees Villa climb off the bottom of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and out of the relegation zone.
In the opening stages, West Ham had their first effort on target through Katerina Svitkova, who struck a curling effort that went over the bar.
Moments later, West Ham captain Gilly Flaherty flashed her header wide of the far post.
It proved to be a cagey first half with both sides failing to create clear-cut chances and maintaining their defensive shapes with neither side wanting to fall behind.
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Midway through the second half, the visitors could have opened the deadlock as Asmita Ale stood over a free kick on the edge of the area, but Hawa Cissoko managed to clear the danger.
West Ham produced some great play down the right that saw Cecilie Redisch’s powerful effort parried away for a corner, before Svitkova fired an effort from the edge of the box that forced Villa goalkeeper Lisa Weiss to produce a fantastic save to keep the game level.
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In the closing stages, Kenza Dali launched a bursting run in midfield and saw her effort deflected by Jodie Hutton, while the same player tried her luck minutes later and looped a long-range effort straight into the hands of Weiss.
Marcus Bignot’s side continued to frustrate and defended superbly at the edge of the box as time ticked down, and did enough to earn a valuable point.
West Ham manager Olli Harder said: "Three clean sheets on the bounce is really good for us. We had the majority of the big chances today so not much went wrong today and it was just a difficult evening – the team [Aston Villa] came up not to play football.
"I wasn’t pleased with the referee’s performance and not getting control of the game.
“We were trying to take the initiative so there is onus on us to win the game as they were not here to win it. When we have the onus at the second half, we tend to leave some space and we can get caught which we almost did because we were the ones who actually wanted to win the match today.
“I give credit to all of my defenders. My back three and my goalkeeper did a fantastic job – keeping three clean sheets in a row, I think that was the first time West Ham did that this season so that is a real big positive for us but it just didn’t happen in front of goal today.
“With the size of our squad and the unlucky injury rate we are having at the moment, Katerina Svitkova’s injury is a massive blow for us. She played really well tonight but she’s been playing well since I joined the club, playing in a multitude of positions so hopefully it’s nothing too serious.”
West Ham: Brosnan, Redisch, Flaherty, Svitkova (Pacheco 78), Longhurst, Dali, Fisk, Cissoko, van Egmond, Vetterlein (Thomas 55), Brynjarsdottir. Unused subs: Arnold, Ramsey, Mustafa, Barker, Denton, Beaufort.
Referee: Amy Fearn.
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