Continental League Cup: Reading 0 West Ham Women 1
PUBLISHED: 17:41 03 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:41 03 November 2019
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West Ham ended Reading's 100 per cent start to The FA Women's Continental League Cup as Swiss international Alisha Lehmann's second-half goal earned the Hammers a first win in the competition.
It started out as a very cagey affair with Lehmann's fierce 20-yard strike the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the first half as she rattled the Reading crossbar.
But the visitors eventually earned the three Group D points thanks to Lehmann's tap in 15 minutes from time.
Both defences were staying resolute and limiting the opposition to audacious attempts, as Fara Williams forced a comfortable save from Anna Moorhouse with an effort from just outside the area.
Just before half-time Rachel Rowe teed up Angharad James who found herself denied by Moorhouse, diving to her right to stop the Welsh international's low, curling effort.
Matt Beard's West Ham changed to a back five at half-time as an attempt to exploit the Royals in wide areas.
But early in the second half, Amalie Eikeland had a great chance for the hosts having driven into the penalty area, but her attempted chip over Moorhouse was saved.
Minutes later, Jacynta Galabadaarachchi cut inside for the visitors but Rachael Laws was equal to her shot.
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Midway through the second half Lehmann was played through on goal after a swift Hammers counter-attack but, under pressure from Maz Pacheco, she squandered the chance by dragging her shot wide.
Eventually it was West Ham who opened the scoring with 15 minutes to go as substitute Leanne Kiernan unselfishly squared the ball to Lehmann for a tap in at the far post - her fourth goal in her last three games against Reading.
Kiernan said: "We're delighted to finally get a win in the Conti Cup. I thought we played very well and showed up which is good to see and I thought we deserved to win.
"I'm used to playing with Alisha now from last season and I know she always makes that run so she's always there to support me. Of course I'm going to pass to her!
"I thought as a team we definitely worked hard. Reading are a great team, and strong team to beat but we were the better team on the day.
"I suppose getting a win going into International break is good for us, then we'll all come back, reset and go again in the league against Manchester City."
West Ham: Moorhouse, Baunach, Kvamme, Hendrix, Vetterlein, Longhurst, Cho, Leon (Kiernan 68), Dali (Middag 63), Lehmann, Galabadaarachchi (Littlejohn 83). Unused subs: Brosnan, Kiszkis.
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