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Hammers hammered 3-0 by Foxes


By Football Reporter LEICESTER secured back-to-back victories in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League for the first time as they won 3-0 against a lacklustre West Ham. Early goals from Natasha Flint and Ashleigh Plumptre, compounded by Freya Gregory’s second-half strike, saw the Foxes move up to tenth. The hosts were ahead inside two minutes as Flint chased down a loose ball and blocked Mackenzie Arnold’s clearance, with the ball ricocheting into the empty net. Leicester were clinical in front of goal early on, doubling their lead on nine minutes.

Jemma Purfield’s free-kick found Plumptre at the back post and the defender headed in her first top-flight goal. It took the visitors half an hour to threaten Demi Lambourne’s net as Yui Hasegawa fizzed a half-volley narrowly wide of the post. But Lydia Bedford’s side put a stranglehold on the game just four minutes after the break as Shannon O’Brien beat Gilly Flaherty to a through ball before finding Gregory at the back post for a routine finish. Gregory’s finish marks the first time that the Foxes have scored three goals in the league this season. Leicester stopper Lambourne denied Katerina Svitkova twice in a matter of minutes as the Hammers looked to find a way back into the match. With 15 minutes left to play, Flint looked certain to net her second goal of the game when she ran through one-on-one. The Leicester forward rounded Arnold but Grace Fisk managed to recover and clear the ball away for a corner. To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com


Leicester City: (3-4-3): Demi Lambourne; Sophie Howard, Abbie McManus, Ashleigh Plumptre, Esmee De Graaf, Sam Tierney, Molly Pike, Jemma Purfield, Shannon O’Brien, Natasha Flint, Freya Gregory

Substitutes: Esther Morgan for De Graaf 67’, Charlie Devlin for Gregory 67’, Elysia Boddy for Pike 87’

Substitutes not used: Sophie Harris, Paige Bailey-Gayle, Sophie Barker, Mackenzie Smith, Connie Scofield, Missy Goodwin.

Goals: Flint 2’, Plumptre 9’, Gregory 49’

Bookings: Flint 75’, Devlin 80’, O’Brien 90’


West Ham: (3-5-2): Mackenzie Arnold; Grace Fisk, Gilly Flaherty, Hawa Cissoko, Melisa Filis, Kate Longhurst, Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Katerina Svitkova, Yui Hasegawa, Zaneta Wyne, Claudia Walker

Substitutes: Tameka Yallop for Walker 45’, Emma Snerle for Filis 45’, Lois Joel for Cissoko 67’, Halle Houssein for Wyne 81’

Substitutes not used: Anna Leat, Emily Moore


Referee: Abigail Byrne


Leicester defender Ashleigh Plumptre said: “We got the first goal pretty quickly and we wanted to make sure we kept the pressure on. “In training we practice set-pieces quite a lot and people say I’m the target, then I end up being the decoy and everyone else scores, so it was a bit of a shock. “It feels really good, I think my celebration says it all. For me I’m passionate about playing for this team and if I can contribute going forward then that’s brilliant - obviously my main role is to defend well. “But it means a lot because ultimately I wanted to get promoted with this team and to get my first FA WSL goal, it’s genuinely one of the best feelings in the world. “I think for us, people know that we’re dangerous from set-pieces, but we want to get goals from good build up play and really challenging the opposition on the front foot too. We want to make sure we’re getting goals from all over the pitch.”


West Ham United boss Olli Harder said: “It’s a really poor goal to give away and we were warned 30 seconds before with the same ball so defensively it’s a disaster, that shouldn’t happen. “I think our backline needs to do better. It’s too easy a ball over the top for someone running in behind. The keeper was in a good position but she slipped. “The manner in which we conceded the set-piece was poor decision-making. So yes, we have to deal with the free-kick much better but the fact we’re giving away a free-kick at the top of the box is completely unnecessary. “The third goal was our own fault again but it was unfortunate as we were starting to turn the screw when we gave away a cheap goal. “It’s not acceptable to come away here and be 2-0 down after nine minutes. “I’m certain there’ll be some changes for the next match because I can’t accept those types of performances, we must do better.”


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