West Ham Women edged out by Brighton

West Ham United head coach Olli Harder

West Ham United head coach Olli Harder - Credit: PA

Aileen Whelan's first-half goal was enough for Brighton to secure a 1-0 win over West Ham in the Women's Super League.

Brighton, coming off a shock away win against table-topping Chelsea at the weekend, had the better of the play, with West Ham goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold forced into a fine save to push Nora Heroum's 31st-minute effort over the crossbar.

But Arnold could do nothing moments later as Whelan turned the ball in from a corner.

Laura Vetterlein almost levelled the scores ten minutes before half time, whipping in a dangerous free kick from 25 yards that beat Megan Walsh and rattled the crossbar.

Maz Pacheco almost equalised in the opening minutes of the second half, getting a touch round Walsh from a long ball into the box but the Brighton defence got back to clear before the West Ham midfielder could finish.


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A ninth defeat of the season leaves Olli Harder's side just two points off the bottom of the table.

And Harder said: "Our performance was characterised by individuals’ inability to positively contribute in key moments offensively and defensively. 

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“The application and effort was there again so it’s difficult to criticise the effort but it’s quality in key moments that determine games and again we had the opportunity to show that quality but we didn’t do that.

“I think it would be important for her (Adriana Leon) and Martha Thomas to score. They’re both on a real dry spell and it’s important for them to get a sight on goal and to pull the trigger when they get a chance and we had those opportunities again tonight.

“Both of them had opportunities to be slightly more positive in terms of their contribution. Hopefully that will come soon because it’s important that they are confident, happy and scoring goals.

“The missed chances and opportunities each game are fine margins and details. We’re still in this position and we’ve got 10 games to put ourselves in a better position than we’re in at the moment.”

West Ham: Arnold, Fisk, Flaherty, Vetterlein, Redisch Kvamme (Leon 38), Svitkova (Mustafa 89), Longhurst, Pacheco, Joel, van Egmond, Thomas. Unused subs: Brosnan, Dali, Cissoko, Barker.

Referee: Isaac Searle.

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