Match Report: West Ham United 0-1 Reading

It’s a cold and wet day in Dagenham as our two teams troop out. A far cry from the Hammers last outing at the Chigwell stadium. West Ham needed a good result to get their season rocking and rolling. With Gilly out of action due to the previous red card it fell to Kenza Dali to steer this ship. Reading had been a bit of a bogey team for West Ham, the first season was two wins and a draw, second season a win and two losses. There was no predicting how this game was gonna go between these two sides.

West Ham started strong with an attempt on goal by former Reading defender Maz Pacheco shooting wide left of the keeper’s outstretched hand. This was followed up by a shot by Adriana Leon which was agonisingly close but was just over the crossbar. If this was rugby we would have been on for a cracker. Within ten minutes, West Ham had created four chances on goal. Going toe to toe with their hooped foe.

The following Ten minutes the Hammers were on the back foot with Reading pummelling the West Ham goal mouth. Three shots in as many minutes which could have disastrous without the handiwork of Mackenzie Arnold.

A quarter of an hour into the match England international Fara Williams pulled up in pain. A blow to Reading surely, she was replaced by Brooke Chaplen who started her game chomping at the bit and raring to go. The next ten minutes were Hanna-Barbera levels of rinse and repeat. With foul, free kick, nothing coming of it. Foul, free kick, nothing coming of it.

It was Lauren Bruton who broke the deadlock between the two teams. A scramble across goal between her and Natasha Harding, wrong footing the West Ham goalkeeper and smashing it into the roof at the West Ham goal.

One-nil to the visitors.

They soon follow up the goal with a yellow card with Bartrip fouling Rach Daly with a heavy kick bringing the loanee toppling down.

Again it became an endless stream of fouls free kicks and nothing coming from either, other than the audible frustrations of the players at every ref’s whistle.

The home side troop in at half time trailing by that one goal.

Photos: @ReadingFCWomen

The second half hit and the difference between the two teams started to show instantly. Reading buoyed by the goal came out full pelt trying to double their lead from the start. West Ham however, were sluggish and disjointed. The run of play was all Reading and any touches West Ham got were loose. The passion was there and Rachel Daly was running the Reading defence ragged but the end product could not connect with a goal. 

The frustration at Rachel Daly came to a head when she was pulled to the ground by a wound-up Reading defence. Penalty to West Ham and best shot they had for drawling level. Temporary captain Dali stepped up to the plate. However, the low strike couldn’t bypass Grace Moloney and the follow up was pushed out of play. 

That really was the last of any West Ham pressure, the rest was really preventative to stop another Arsenal scoreline. As well as more rinse and repeat of Foul, free kick and nothing done with it. Plus frustration lots of frustrations from players and fans alike. 

The game ends with a solitary Reading goal and West Ham’s season still failing to launch. To be honest this West Ham team was so disjointed and an element and air of dissent could be felt around the ground. If we are going to kickstart our campaign, divisions are going to have to be sealed pronto. 

Player of the Match Rachel Daly 

The villain of the match. The FA player Cameraman who forgot his lens cover. Wipe your damn lens man.