Hammers go fifth in WSL after 1-0 win at home to Spurs
By Football Reporter
Dagny Brynjarsdottir fired West Ham to fifth in the WSL table as the Hammers snatched a 1-0 victory against Tottenham at a chilly Victoria Road.
The sides scored a combined 15 goals in the WSL Cup in midweek, but the Iceland international’s effort was enough to clinch a critical victory for West Ham.
Champions League hopefuls Spurs sit 4th heading into the international break, and an injury to Kit Graham leaves Rehanne Skinner with plenty to ponder before the WSL returns.
Both sides were sloppy in possession early on and the visitors should have capitalised on a misplaced pass from Hammers stopper Mackenzie Arnold, but Kyah Simon blazed her effort well over.
An otherwise uneventful first half was marred by the injury to to Graham, who was stretchered off after a strong but fair challenge by West Ham’s Kate Longhurst.
West Ham went close in the 65th minute, but Tameka Yallop’s venomous volley flashed just wide of the post.
The home side maintained their pressure and were rewarded five minutes later, when Brynyarsdottir picked up the ball on the edge of the box and squeezed a low-driven effort past Tinja-Riikka Korpela.
Ollie Harder’s side had the tails up after that, and Czech international Katerina Svitkova went close with a thunderous effort from the left.
Rachel Williams almost drew the visitors level late on, but a stunning acrobatic save by Arnold guided the Hammers to a famous win.
To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Rehanne Skinner said: ““It wasn’t good enough, that’s the bottom line. We finished the game in the last ten minutes how we should’ve started it. We were too slow out of the blocks at the start of the game, passes were going astray and we just didn’t really snap out of that.
“Three games in a week isn’t an excuse, at all. We’ve had squad rotation and you’ve got to be able to survive that and games like this. The bottom line is we just didn’t do basics well enough. Consistency is key in this league and we haven’t been able to replicate our performance from last week.”
West Ham United head coach Olli Harder said: “It was a professional performance. This was always going to be a performance that relied on will rather than quality, because it was our third game in a week.
“We had a frank discussion after the Reading game, about managing parts of the game better. We’ve done it really well today, particularly in terms of our decision making, which is really pleasing.
“It’s a very competitive league, we’re fifth but there’s a lot of teams around us. We’re just hoping it’ll be another good weekend for us next time out.”
West Ham United (3-5-2): Mackenzie Arnold; Grace Fisk; Hawa Cissoko; Gilly Flaherty; Katerina Svitkova; Kate Longhurst; Dagny Brynjarsdottir; Lisa Evans; Yui Hasegawa; Tameka Yallop; Claudia Walker
Substitutes: 69’ Abbey-Leigh Stringer for Walker; Melisa Filis for Evans 89’
Substitutes not used: Anna Leat; Zaneta Wyne; Lucy Parker; Lois Joel; Brooke Cairns; Grace Garrad
Goals: Brynjarsdottir 68’
Tottenham Hotspur (4-3-3): Tinja-Riikka Korpela; Molly Bartrip; Kerys Harrop; Cho So-hyun; Rachel Williams; Ria Percival; Asmita Ale; Kit Graham; Kyah Simon; Maeva Clemaron; Ashleigh Neville
Substitutes: Chioma Ubogagu for Graham 28’; Angela Addison for Cho 45’; ‘71 Rosella Ayane for Simon 71’; Jessica Naz for Ubogagu 87’
Substitutes not used: Eleanor Heeps; Esther Morgan; Josie Green
Bookings: Graham 16’