16 Sep Match Report: West Ham United 1-0 Birmingham City
Birmingham City made one change coming into this game Lucy Whipp was replaced by Republic of Ireland international Harriet Scott.
And blues had the first opportunity of the game as Claudia Walker shrugged off her marker and forced a good low save out of Hammers keeper Courtney Brosnan.
Blues kept the pressure on but were forced to track back when a loose ball from Arthur was pounced on by Longhurst but her low shot after driving into the box was straight at Hannah Hampton.
West Ham were awarded a free-kick 20 minutes in, when the free-kick wasn’t cleared convincingly it allowed teenager Jacynta Galabaadarachchi to send an effort at goal but the snapshot was turned over the bar by Hampton in the blues net.
A couple of minutes after, Rebecca Holloway was booked for bringing hammers striker Martha Thomas down just outside the box, the resulting effort from the free-kick by German Defender Katharina Baunach was just narrowly over the bar.
The breakthrough for the home side arrived three minutes after. West Ham worked it swiftly down the right and Thomas worked her way towards the box and sent a ball across the line of the box to Canadian International Adrianna Leon who swept home at the first attempt.
Birmingham tried to get back into the game and nearly did when Staniforth let fly from 25 yards out but her long drive was just wide of the near post. Then Harriet Scott’s 20-yard curling shot was easily gathered by Brosnan.
Before half time blues were awarded a free-kick 20 yards from Goal it was Lucy Staniforth to take but the England International’s effort was comfortable for the goalkeeper Brosnan again.
Three minutes after the restart blues pushed to make their pressure count, Claudia Walker made her way into the box but her low, crisp shot was wide of the post and at the other end goal scorer Leon nodded off target from Baunach’s deep corner.
The Canadian was again involved in West Ham’s next attack 55 minutes in as she drove the ball across goal, Kerys Harrop on hand to clear though.
Birmingham kept trying, Abbi Grant cut in from the left and her shot was deflected wide then Sarah Mayling shot straight at Courtney Brosnan 10 yards out.
Grant was a fraction away from converting with a header in front of goal and West Ham captain Gilly Flaherty was forced to clear just over the bar as a cross from walker caused danger.
The home side had a great chance to wrap up the points with 13 minutes to play, Brosnan’s long ball forward was perfect for Martha Thomas to get on to the hammers striker ran into the box but with Hampton bearing down on her she lifted her shot off target.
Blues’ heads were in hands when Staniforth’s powerful rising shot from 25 yards at goal was tipped onto the bar and just trickled on the line.
In added time Birmingham were starting to get frustrated when Lucy Staniforth’s shot was pushed around the post and Mayling was stopped by the West Ham players in front of the line, that was following a goalmouth scramble from a corner that followed in a frustrating finish to the game.
West Ham United: Brosnan, Simon(Kvamme 63), Flaherty, Thomas, Baunach( Hendrix 83), Longhurst, Galabaadarachchi (Lehmann 56), Leon, Cho, Vetterlein
Subs not used: Middag, Moorhouse.
Birmingham City: Hampton, Scott (Whipp 83), Harrop, Holloway, Jordan, Staniforth, Arthur (Scofield 78), Visalli, Grant, Mayling, Walker.
Subs not used: Logan, Williams, Goodwin, Rabjohn, Brooks.