• By Paul Lagan at Wembley Stadium

Man City’s power and class too much for Hammers in 3-0 FA Cup Final defeat at Wembley


Man City 3 v West Ham 0

Manchester City’s class and power were too much for West Ham United as the east Londoners went down 3-0 at Wembley this afternoon in the FA Cup Final.

A terse and tense first 45 minutes saw no goals, but plenty of endeavour but once City scored on 52 minutes from Keira Walsh, the result was never in doubt. Added strikes from Georgia Stanway and substitute Lauren Hemp sealed the difference in class for the team who won the cup for the first time in 2017.

Fault will be attached to West Ham’s Anna Moorhouse for two of the goals, but in truth, while the Hammers showed a laudable defensive set-up and frustrated City, They never really looked as if they could overcome thenWSL giants in 90 minutes.

Ex-Chelsea player Gilly Flaherty made a stunning last-gasp challenge to thwart Nikita Parris on eight minutes as the Sky Blues looked to take an early lead to complement their possession dominance. Thankfully for the West Ham fans behind the goal, they saw the perfect out-stretched tackle as live-wire Parris was running directly towards Anna Moorehouse’s goal.

But it was the Hammers who should have taken the lead on 28 minutes.

A fine counter-attack by the Hammers saw Erin Ross produced a deep right byline cross which was met perfectly by in-running Jane Ross. Her powerful header produced a spectacular acrobat diving save from England’s No1 goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.

It was the east Londoners first attempt on goal, in what was, up to that point, a tight defensive performance.

Hammer pressure also saw a call for a penalty on 33 minutes when Alisha Lehman appeared to have her ankle clipped by Jill Scott in the City area. However TV replays showed there was no contact on the Claret and Blue player.

Another ex-Chelsea player produced a fine interception on 40 minutes to deflect away a goal-bound shot by Scott as City reasserted their dominance.

Parris had a half-chance on the whistle but she sliced her left-footer over Moorhouse’s crossbar.

There were no changes by either side at half-time.

The opener came on 52 minutes. A touch of fortune came from the boot of Keira Walsh, 25 yards out. After creating space for herself, she let fly with a right-footer, which swerved enough to fox Moorhouse who misread the flight of the ball and could not reposition herself and she let the ball slip past her and into the back of her net.

Matt Beard made the first change replacing Rafferty with Brianna Visalli.

She was quickly followed, on 63 minutes by Leanne Kiernan, Ross made way.

While Moorhouse may have being at fault for the goal, she was quick to redeem herself by parrying away a fine right-footer by Parris on 70 minutes.

Then a quick breakaway by the Hammers saw Lehman free just outside the City area. But her effort, while on target, was not strong enough, nor accurate enough to trouble Bardsley.

While not a record attendance, 43,264 fans were in attendance.

The hammer blow for West Ham with 10 minutes on the clock, when Stanway raced across the edge of the Hammers’ penalty area and let fly with a low, right-footer. The most delicate of deflections off Brooke Hendrix’s outstretched leg saw the ball inch past the hapless Moorhouse to put City 2-0 up.

A howler by Moorhouse, who needlessly raced out of her goal, with three minutes left saw substitute Lauren Hemp loft the ball past her from San acute angle on the left and the ball drifted into the net.

Hemp had a great chance to make it number four but her angled short hit the post and she skied the rebound over the crossbar.

Teams: Man City: Bardsley, Stokes, Beattie, Houghton, Scott, Stanway, Parris, Weir, McManus, Walsh, Wullaert

Subs: Roebuck, Bonner, Brewer, Beckie, Hemp, Campbell, Emilie

West Ham: Moorhouse, Percival, Simon, Hendrix, Flaherty, Lehman, Ross, Rafferty, Longhurst, Leon, So-Hyun

Subs: Spencer, Kieran, Sampson, Visalli, Kmita, Reinhardt

Referee Abigail Byrne

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