Hammers go down at Chelsea

  • by Jack Sullivan-Bissett
  • Wednesday, 25th September 2019

West Ham United's Continental Cup Campaign began with a 2-0 defeat to two-time Super League winners Chelsea.

Head Coach Matt Beard's former side took the three points in the opening match of the tournament, taking Chelsea to second in Group D.

West Ham began strongly and enjoyed an early chance when Tessel Middag tackled Anita Assante just outside the box, with Martha Thomas forcing a good save from the Chelsea goalkeeper. West Ham were defending well throughout the first half.

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Chelsea hit back when Deanna Cooper played a deep-cross from the right, Flaherty headed the ball away but only as far as Assante. Her first time pass found Bethany England, but her attempts to find a team mate were cut out by Middag.

Then, the Dutch midfielder played the ball first time to the onrushing Lehmann who ran the length of the pitch before finding the ever-dangerous Martha Thomas on the right. Thomas cut inside and fired a shot just over the bar.

Chelsea threatened themselves again when Swiss forward Ramona Bachmann ran at Gilly Flaherty getting the better of the Hammers defender on the left-hand side. Her cross was stabbed over the bar by Chelsea striker England.

In the first attack of the second half, Chelsea broke quickly with what was heir best chance of the game so far. A throw-in, deep in the West Ham half found England who flicked the ball on to Guro Reiten; the ball ricocheted between Chelsea players before breaking for England.

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The Chelsea forward broke down the pitch at pace, taking on three West Ham defenders before finding Bachmann on the right wing. Bachman cut inside Laura Vetterlein but placed her shot just wide of Anna Moorhouse's far post.

The home-side's breakthrough finally came in the simplest of ways. It was route one football as Chelsea captain Eriksson played a long ball into the box from just inside the Hammers half. The onrushing England striker met the ball with a fierce first time half volley to give the hosts the lead.

Chelsea came close to doubling their advantage soon after; a clearance from the Chelsea defence was battled hard for by England, Brooke Hendrix managed to clear the ball away but not with any conviction, as Reiten intercepted and broke down the left wing.

Her cross was missed by the onrushing Chelsea player but found its way to Engman, whose first time shot was brilliantly saved by Moorhouse in the West Ham goal.

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The resulting corner gave Chelsea a two-goal lead - albeit rather fortuitously. Reiten's in-swinging corner was missed by everyone and caught out the West Ham 'keeper, finding the top corner and ending hopes of a West Ham comeback.

The defeat leaves West Ham fifth in the six-team group, with Chelsea second. Leading the group are Reading who dished out a 4-0 thumping to West Ham's next opponents Tottenham Hotspur.

Positioned in third and fourth place after match one are Crystal Palace and Lewes, with the former running out 3-2 away winners in their meeting.

West Ham's next game will be against Tottenham Hotspur at the home of West Ham's men's side. The London Stadium fixture takes place on September 29 with the club expecting a crowd in excess of 20,000.

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