By Adefunmiloye Alani

18th Dec, 2021 | 11:10pm

West Ham Women expert pleased with 3-0 Conti Cup win against Brighton

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

Michelle Irons has reacted after West Ham Women secured a 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion in the League Cup at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on Wednesday (15 December).

They booked a place in the knockout stages of the competition as a result, and 2021-22 has been going on well for Olli Harder’s ladies after last season’s struggles.

West Ham finished as leaders in Group E of the Conti Cup after wins against London City Lionesses and Birmingham in the earlier matches, and Michelle Irons is impressed with the growth under the manager.

She told West Ham Zone: “I really enjoyed watching the Brighton game on TV as I couldn’t attend due to isolating. It was nice to see a number of fans there at the ground in the cold. I felt that in the first half, we showed such spirit and determination.

“I felt that the girls knew we had a job to do, and they went and done it.
I was happy to see Kate Longhurst get a goal – she is an integral part of this team and contributes so much to the attack and defence. She attacked a really well-worked cross by Yui Hasegawa and put us ahead.

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“We had, once again, the better chances in the first half and we played quick counter-attacking football. This is something I love to see the girls do so well. This is such an improvement from seasons before, as we usually sit back and invite pressure.

“The difference for me is Abbey-Leigh Stringer. She is a reliable and strong player in that midfield. Her work rate and efforts have made a huge difference.

“The second goal was well deserved as Mel Filis really got herself into a great position to smash it into the back of the net with Brighton having no answer to her movement.

“Finally, a peach of a strike from fan favourite Kateřina Svitkova to seal the win and top the group.

“This campaign so far in the Conti Cup has been flawless with zero goals conceded and qualification secured for the next round.

“Overall, a composed performance all round and an important clean sheet for the girls.

“As a season ticket holder, I’m delighted that we have improved so much this year. We have such a great balance of players who really have adopted to Olli Harder’s way of playing.”

With Sunday’s (19 December) Women’s Super League game against Chelsea postponed after the Blues returned a number of positive tests for Covid-19, it means West Ham finished the calendar year unbeaten at home during the 2021/22 campaign.

The squad will now begin their winter break, returning to training in the New Year before taking on Manchester United on January 9, and they have been very impressive so far.

They are on course to finish in the European zone this term, and they will also fancy their chances of going far during the knockout stages of the Continental Tyres League Cup.

In other West Ham news, an amazing attacker is making personal arrangements for Hammers switch in January.

Be sure to follow West Ham Zone on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on the Hammers and more exclusive interviews with Frank McAvennie.