West Ham Women expert looks back on disappointing loss at Man United in Lisa Evans' final game
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…
The final away trip of the season saw a heavy 3-0 loss at Manchester United and West Ham Women expert Michelle Irons was disappointed by how it went.
An early opener from ex-Iron Martha Thomas, coupled with an unfortunate own goal from Grace Fisk, spelled out the kind of afternoon it was going to be, before a third soon after the break from Leah Galton.
Against a side in the ascendency the Hammers were simply unable to get a foothold in the game in a flat performance as the season headed to its conclusion, and Irons was doubly unhappy to see loanee Lisa Evans go out on a low note.
Speaking exclusively to West Ham Zone she said: “West Ham’s last away game of the season saw them travel to ambitious neighbours of recent opponents City.
“The Hammers were looking to add to their impressive tally of points for the season. One change for West Ham as Emma Snerle was replaced by Tameka Yallop. Grace Fisk was the captain for this game as Gilly Flaherty was still out.
“This was possibly Lisa Evans’ last game for West Ham as she is ineligible to play for her parent side Arsenal in the final game. She’s had a revival this season, played a fair few minutes, and had a real impact on the team. As a season-ticket holder I’d have be delighted if she’d stayed with us going into the summer and beyond.
“First half, Man United were organised and full of energy, starting the game as lively as you would expect being at home in front of a huge crowd. From the opening couple of minutes they had a number of chances.
“I think West Ham struggled with Man United’s crisp passing and movement in contrast to the previous week’s away trip against Reading. Zanetta Wyne was not getting as much space and ball as she would have liked.
“Man United used that space on 11 minutes to put the home side ahead through our former player Martha Thomas.
“West Ham didn’t really get started and looked tired. Most of the decisions went against them and some were questionable from the referee and linesman.
“Man United were cruising and enjoying themselves, with the visitors having no idea how to break them down.
“No real, credible chances for West Ham in the first half and soon the Reds had a second via an own goal from Fisk, who had tried to clear and turned it into her own net.
“It was a long way back for the Hammers with no hold on the ball whatsoever.
“Even an uncharacteristic mistake by Hayley Ladd, which led to Adriana Leon forcing Mary Earps into a big save, and the resulting corner came to nothing.
“There were no changes at the break and when West Ham went looking to get something from the game it was snuffed out quite quickly, going 3-0 down three minutes after the start.
“Man United were always in control and never looked out of place. We then spent the majority of the second half chasing the ball with only Katerina Svitkova and Leon having some nice moments, but our creative players Yui Hasegawa and Lisa Evans were isolated and forced out of the game.
“Really disappointing result for us away. We were never in it and were never challenging a well established team fighting for Champions League places.“
The result wasn’t good, and undid the work of the previous week’s win over Reading.
But the performance was more of a disappointment, and the step up between the two opponents simply proved too much on the day.
At the end of a long season and with nothing left to play for it is always a risk that such a game comes along, but it still didn’t inspire much confidence ahead of the finale against title-chasing Arsenal.
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