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West Ham Women boss Beard pleased to progress in FA Cup

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 March 2019

West Ham manager Matt Beard shouts instructions (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

West Ham manager Matt Beard shouts instructions (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

West Ham Women head coach Matt Beard was delighted to progress into the FA Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa.

Jane Ross’ tenth goal of the season was enough to send the Hammers past the Villans in Sunday’s quarter-final, booking the team’s passage into the last four of the competition, where they will travel away to Reading on Sunday, April, 14.

But the boss Beard admitted he felt he got his tactics wrong in the first-half of the match as he initially set his side up to play with two strikers in Ross and Leanne Kiernan, while Adriana Leon and Alisha Lehmann supported out wide.

“When we looked at the footage of Aston Villa before the game, there was a lot of space between their holding midfield player and where the centre-backs stepped out,” Beard told whufc.com.

“Our goal came from that, although to be perfectly honest I think we made the wrong decision in this formation.

“We changed it with about five minutes to go, after we got in front, just to be compact.

“I thought we were really comfortable in the second half.

“We had two or three really good opportunities to finish the game off, but we didn’t take them.

“I got the system wrong in the first half, but we changed it and we’ve seen out the game.”

The former Liverpool Women’s manager was pleased to seal the victory over the in-form Championship side as they knew it would be a tough test.

“We’re really pleased. It was always going to be a tough game.

“Aston Villa have been in good form and had nothing to lose.

“We knew it would be hard work but the most important thing was to get the win, keep the clean-sheet.”

The winners of the semi-final clash will take on either Manchester City or Chelsea at Wembley Stadium at the start of May.

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