Seagulls leapfrog Hammers with 2-0 win at Dagenham
West Ham 0-2 Brighton
By Football Reporter
Goals from Aileen Whelan and Inessa Kaagman were enough for Brighton to earn a 2-0 win at West Ham which saw them leapfrog their hosts in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table.
Whelan’s early opener was added to by Kaagman 10 minutes from time as Albion climbed to sixth with four games of the season remaining.
The two sides traded chances throughout the match but Brighton were more clinical in front of goal and could have won by more had Megan Connolly’s long-range strike found the net rather than the crossbar.
The game was less than two minutes old when Ellie Brazil set off on a marauding run down the right flank and found Kaagman.
She laid it off to Whelan, who calmly slotted the ball past Mackenzie Arnold to get the visitors off to a flyer.
West Ham nearly levelled in the 19th minute as Grace Fisk broke beyond Albion’s back line but a superb recovery tackle from Emma Kullberg quelled the attack.
The hosts came close again in the 34th minute through Tameka Yallop, who forced a smart save from Katie Startup after steering Katerina Svitoka’s cross towards goal.
Just before the hour mark, following a spell of sustained Brighton pressure, Connolly rattled West Ham’s crossbar with a right-footed shot from distance.
Soon afterwards, Startup was called into action twice in as many minutes to deny West Ham top scorer Dagny Brynjarsdottir, who nearly added to her four league goals with a far post header and close-range effort.
As West Ham pushed for an equaliser, they were hit by a sucker punch as Arnold failed to clear her lines and presented Kaagman with an open goal to put the game beyond doubt late on.
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West Ham striker Dagny Brynjarsdottir said: “It was definitely disappointing. We didn’t come out on the front foot and the goals they scored from were from our mistakes.
“We knew one of Brighton’s strengths was from set-pieces and their first goal came from our own throw in. It’s always hard to start the game 1-0 down as you have to chase the whole time and the second goal was our mistake as well.
“Obviously, we created some half chances but we have to be better with the final pass and in the final third.
“I feel like the final pass is just something that’s not there. Many of our chances were half chances, almost with the ball bouncing through the box. We need to be a bit more clinical at both ends of the field.
“We need to use this leading up to Man City - take what was good but work on what was not so great. Make sure from the first whistle until the last that we are on the front foot.”
Brighton manager Hope Powell said: “We had attitude, effort and application. We were quite resilient at the end in the latter stages of the game.
“I’ve said it before, we rarely get an early goal so for us, it was a good thing as it settled us and meant they were chasing.
“They’re the ones who have to come out and try and find something and that just gave us confidence very early on.
“In the second half, we were a bit too deep. But we wereresilient, organised and dedicated and got rewarded for being alert and putting the ball in the back of the net.
“I felt that we should’ve scored more goals, so I’m a bit disappointed that sometimes we make it a little bit hard for ourselves.
“Sometimes we gave the ball away a bit too cheaply but when you haven’t got the ball you’ve got to do the dirty bit which is work hard. I think we did that well today.
“If we don’t have the ball but we win, I’m happy, and I’m delighted with the three points.”
West Ham United: (3-4-3): Mackenzie Arnold; Hawa Cissoko, Gilly Flaherty, Grace Fisk; Kate Longhurst, Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Katerina Svitoka; Tameka Yallop, Yui Hasegawa, Adriana Leon
Substitutes: Lucy Parker for Stringer 68’; Lisa Evans for Longhurst 74’; Mel Filis for Brynjarsdottir 88’; Halle Houssein for Yallop 88’
Substitutes not used: Anna Leat; Zaneta Wyne; Lois Joel; Grace Guard
Brighton: (4-4-1-1): Katie Startup; Emma Koivisto, Danique Kerkdijk, Maya Le Tissier; Aileen Whelan; Megan Connolly, Inessa Kaagman; Ellie Brazil; Emma Kullberg, Danielle Carter; Victoria Williams
Substitutes: Lee Geum-Min for Brazil 37’; Felicity Gibbons for Carter 68’; Julia Zigiotti Olme for Kaagman 82’
Substitutes not used: Libby Bance; Maisie Symonds Goals: Whelan 2’; Kaagman 80’ Referee: Paul Howard