Thomas treble helps West Ham pass Reading test

West Ham United's Martha Thomas (left) in action against Tottenham Hotspur earlier this season

West Ham United's Martha Thomas (left) in action against Tottenham Hotspur earlier this season - Credit: PA

Martha Thomas scored a hat-trick as West Ham produced a stunning first-half display which blew Reading away and saw them climb out of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League relegation zone.

Following early goals from Kenza Dali and Katerina Svitkova, Thomas completed her hat-trick in 26 minutes with West Ham producing a totally dominant display which belied their lowly league position.

The Hammers started the game brightly opening up a 3-0 lead a little over 10 minutes into the game.

Dali opened the scoring in the seventh minute as her attempted right-wing cross sailed in at the far post.

Three minutes later the lead was doubled as Svitkova was left unmarked at the back post to head in Kate Longhurst's right-wing cross.


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Thomas grabbed her first goal a minute later as she fired in from 10 yards after being played in by Longhurst.

The striker had her second just before the half-hour mark, tapping in from close range after a neat passing interchange with Cecilie Kvamme.

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The hat-trick was completed eight minutes before the break with Thomas lobbing the onrushing Grace Moloney from the edge of the area.

Reading improved after the break and Rachel Rowe was unfortunate to see her volley excellently tipped over by Courtney Brosnan just after the hour mark.

Fara Williams hit the bar with a 25-yard free-kick in the closing stages, however the Royals were unable to score a consolation.

The victory was vitally important for the Hammers and has greatly improved their chances of remaining in the FA WSL for another season, as they sit two points ahead of bottom side Aston Villa. 

Hammers boss Olli Harder said: "It feels good to get my first win in the WSL.

"It's a long road ahead and hopefully this is the turning point and we can push on from here.

"The game plan was about putting the opposition under pressure and starting on the front foot, luckily today we were able to put the ball in the net.

"It was a fantastic performance from Martha Thomas. The last few games have been difficult for her in terms of having to create chances for herself and hopefully this will do the world of good for her confidence.

"We have five games left and I felt this type of result was coming, I'm just glad it happened today.  

"Hopefully this will give us confidence for the rest of the season.”

West Ham: Brosnan, Flaherty, Fisk, Cissoko, Kvamme (Pacheco 77), Longhurst (Denton 90), Bryjarsduttir, Dali, van Edmond, Thomas (Mustafa 81). Unused subs: Barker, Ramsey.

Referee: Kirsty Dowle.

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