It’s a rainy southwest that plays host to the two bottom teams. West Ham faced Bristol in their new home over in Bath. A must-win game in Botha teams eyes, the home team looking to get their first win of the season. The away side hoping to widen the gap between the two sides. A loss snd the Hammers take their place in the drop zone.
However the biggest opponent to both teams was the pitch. Having received Noah’s arc level of rain overnight, Twerton Park was not looking so much like a football pitch as it did in an overpriced spa treatment. So any slick tricks to outwit the opposition may have to be put on hold.
Bristol held their own for the first ten minutes, keeping their possession tonight. You feel their plan is one goal abs then park the bus. Keeping their action in their half for the most part. However, it was this that became their undoing. A defensive flick out lead to a West Ham corner. A gliding shot by Rach Daly just missed Leon and was kept out leading to another set-piece. Once again Daly whips in the cross which leads to confusion. In the end the ball ends up in the back of the net and it’s a Bristol head that does it. Purfield credited, for the lack of a better word, for the goal.
Bristol answered straight back and get a free in a dangerous area two minutes later. Purfield has the ball in the back of the right net this time. A touch too soon and the flag was raised. West Ham held on to their slim lead.
For most of the first half it was basically a slip and slide in the midfield. Both teams were not able to work anything due to the soft ground underfoot. The flow was non-existent and the stop-start was as bad a learner driver on the motorway for the first time. You feel that West Ham’s plan was to tire out the Robins and then attack when weakened.
Great strategy but it was gonna take some time especially with Bryson on the wing looking very sharp.
Towards the first half things started to heat up and not in the most productive way. A foul lead to Grace Fisk and Bristol City’s forward butting heads with the captains having to calm each player down. It flared up again when West Ham took a throw that Daniels felt was Bristols and smacked Daly in the face getting the ball. Once again the captains having to charge as the ref was reluctant to get out her black book. West Ham end the first half with a slim lead.
Second half both teams still raring to go, both still wanting to prove themselves. It was West Ham who started first trying to spring two through balls but both caught in Bristol’s offside trap. It was also the Hammers who had possession, pummelling the Bristol defence with set-piece after set-piece.
Eventually the shotgun approach paid off. Martha Thomas chasing after what appeared to be a lost ball covering half the pitch. Surprising everyone she kept it in play and managed to find
Van Egmond in the box. A simple tap in for the Aussie and West Ham doubled their lead.
It was here that Bristolian heads dropped and West Ham picked up the pace. 10 mins later scorer turned her hand to assist with a pin point cross into the box. Rach Daly was on hand to header into the top corner. 3-0 and a win for the Hammers almost certain.
Bristols woes worsened briefly when it looked like Gilly Flaherty broke their star striker. Luckily Salmon was up and running and Flaherty just got her name in the book.
West Ham were looking to eat into some of their goal difference. Another goal chipped away as Martha Thomas with a simple strike that Baggley didn’t even move to save.
This is where it ends with a four goal win and a one up the table. The Robins wading through cement at the bottom. It wasn’t the best game or the prettiest game. Pretty football is a privilege of teams who have the luxury of something to lose. Whereas this game was all about Scooby Doo’s nephew.
Player of the match. Emily van Egmond, we need to convince her to stay.