By Sam Stone

18th Oct, 2022 | 10:10pm

West Ham United Women expert: Continental Cup a great chance to give younger players a runout

We’re delighted to welcome Michelle Irons as our exclusive West Ham Women expert. Each week she’ll be giving her views on the biggest talking points at Victoria Road…

West Ham Women’s expert Michelle Irons believes the Continental Cup is a great chance for Paul Konchesky to give some of his younger players a first-team runout.

The Hammers started their group stage campaign off with a draw against London City Lionesses, although the Irons did pick up an extra bonus point due to their penalty shootout victory.

Despite the close affair, Irons was delighted to see some of the Hammers’ lesser-known players be given a chance from the outset.

“We have a number of young players in our squad and the Conti Cup proves to be a great opportunity for some to get minutes,” Irons exclusively told West Ham Zone.

“We started this game with a few changes from the previous league fixture with youngster Flannery coming in as well as Izzy Atkinson.

“The home side opened the scoring after a deep cross into the box left Arnold in no man’s land. London City continued their great passing play and another goal from a cross proved to be an ever-familiar story with another header flying past Arnold.

“Some changes were made with Kyvag and Smith coming on to provide some attacking strength and they made an instant impact with Kyvag doing well with a pass for Asseyi to nod home.

“A few minutes later Lisa Evans crossed perfectly for Dagny to make no mistake as we headed into extra time.

“This game was an excellent showpiece for both sides with the Championship side delivering a professional performance.”

West Ham now face joint-bottom Reading in their next WSL match knowing that a win could take them level on points with third-place Chelsea.

Irons has previously stated that she feels Konchesky’s side can compete with the best teams in the league in the 2022/23 season.