By George Overhill

6th Apr, 2022 | 6:40pm

West Ham Women expert reviews 'avoidable' WSL defeat to 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…

West Ham Women expert Michelle Irons has looked back on the game which put an end to an encouraging run of results with defeat to Brighton.

Goals from Aileen Whelan and Inessa Kaagman, which came as the result of Hammers defensive errors, were enough for the points.

To throw those points away having battled so hard to steal one at the death in the previous league game was a major disappointment.

Irons spoke exclusively to West Ham Zone and said: “West Ham put out their strongest XI at home to Brighton who last time out, away down south, beat us 2-0 after Hawa Cissoko was shown a red.

“The midfield of Abbey-Leigh Stringer and Dagny Brynjarsdóttir gave us a height advantage as well as allowing Dagny to push forward, which has brought her a flurry of goals this season. 

“It was a disastrous start. In the second minute Stringer lost possession from a throw in, which released the ball to a wide player who sent it into the danger zone.

“West Ham failed to clear twice before Whelan slotted it home.

“It looked like West Ham were asleep and Brighton were in control for the next 10 minutes.

“The Hammers failed to control the game and failed to create any chances. They were clearly on the back foot.

“Everything good from Brighton came from Danique Kerkdijk and Whelan, with West Ham having no answer to the problems they were causing.  

“The first half was a frustrating one as every avenue that we tried to explore saw Brighton shut us down, with no real goal threat from the home side. 

“The second half was no different, with the Hammers not having any luck in attempts equalise and it appeared to have effected the teams body language. They look deflated and out of ideas.

“Adriana Leon and Tameka Yallop were trying to get into spaces but credit to Brighton they snuffed out all of our dangerous play. 

“As the time went on Yui Hasegawa was popping up in space and put in a few high crosses but to no avail.

“There was a handball shout in the 63rd minute but the Brighton defender Victoria Williams was calm enough to clean up, and Leon had a smart shot on target which was easily held by the keeper. 

“The final blow came on 80 minutes when again the Hammers failed to clear a simple ball resulting in a mix up between Mackenzie Arnold, Grace Fisk and Cissoko, laying it on a plate for Brighton to increase their lead – game over. 

“All in all a very disappointing home defeat which could have been avoided without defensive mistakes. 

“Unfortunately West Ham have a habit now of just not stepping up and controlling certain games. Credit to Brighton who very much deserved the three points and were worthy winners.”

A thoroughly deflating fixture took a lot of the positivity that had built up, and was far from ideal preparation for the next match against a resurgent Manchester City.

Safely in mid-table but too far to threaten those at the top, the season is left in danger of petering out without major purpose.

In other West Ham news, the men’s team have been tipped to win the race for a £50million goal-machine by a European expert.

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