Alisha Lehmann gets West Ham back on winning trail against Bristol City

first_img Arsenal 4-1 Brighton: Women’s Super League — as it happened Two “gifted” goals at home to Bristol City helped WSL newcomers West Ham move to within a point of their mid-table rivals in seventh.After defeats to Chelsea and Birmingham, coach Matt Beard had been frustrated by his team’s lack of a cutting edge in front of goal. “We added in an extra session this week and we’ve been working on our forward play a lot,” said Beard. Pinterest The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Women’s football Twitter Read more match reports Arsenal maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 4-1 win over Brighton at Borehamwood. The Gunners fell behind to Hope Powell’s team inside 10 minutes, Ini Umotong racing through to beat Sari van Veenendaal and spark wild Brighton celebrations. Their lead was short-lived, as Dutch striker Viv Miedema levelled for her 14th league goal – one away from the record for a WSL season – and her compatriots Dominique Bloodworth and Danielle van de Donk ensured the hosts went in at half-time with a 3-1 lead. A quieter second half saw Beth Mead add to the scoreline.WSL all-time top scorer Nikita Parris opened the scoring for Manchester City in a 4-0 win at Yeovil to keep the Blues six points behind Arsenal. Scotland’s Caroline Weir doubled the lead for Nick Cushing’s side in the first half, and Steph Houghton and Claire Emslie both struck in the final 10 minutes to extend it.Birmingham kept up the chase with a 2-0 win at Liverpool. A smart half-volley in the third minute from Emma Follis, added to by Connie Scofield who coolly poked past Anke Preuss, kept them two points behind Man City.Meanwhile, Hannah Cain gave bottom-placed Everton the lead at Reading but Brooke Chaplin levelled before half-time to crush the visitors’ hopes of a first league win, before scoring a second to deny them just a third point of the season. Share on Twitter “Against Birmingham we created 18 goalscoring opportunities and we had 14 shots. Not to score out of them is frustrating. If you don’t shoot you don’t score. We had a deflection for the first one and a gift for the second but we’ll take it.”The Hammers turned up the heat early on. A corner from former Chelsea left-back Claire Rafferty caused no end of trouble in the box before falling kindly for Alisha Lehmann whose first-time strike beat goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley only to be hoofed off the line by 18-year-old Poppy Pattinson. Moments later Bristol saw their first sight of goal, a whipped free-kick headed goalwards by Juliette Kemppi was comfortably saved by Anna Moorhouse, making her first start ahead of former Chelsea keeper Becky Spencer.But momentum was with the home team, and it was Lehmann who gave them the lead, breaking from midfield, twisting past Rosella Ayane and Bristol captain Loren Dykes before hitting a powerful shot which deflected off the back of Danique Kerkdijk to beat Baggaley at her near post.With the ever-vocal Beard loudly urging his players to stretch the visitors and use their pace out wide, the hosts continued to have the edge. Leanne Kiernan and Erin Simon posed a constant threat on the right and a pinpoint pass from the former saw Simon hit a fizzing cross across goal, only for Rafferty to mistime her volley which looped up and safely down into the arms of Baggaley.On the stroke of half-time the Hammers should have doubled their lead as Kiernan shot from an acute angle but straight at the keeper.Perhaps unhappy with the lack of a real threat on goal despite their possession, Beard swapped Kiernan for Dutch forward Esmee de Graaf during the break. But it was Tanya Oxtoby’s team who came out the brighter.Julie Biesmans, Lucy Graham and Carla Humphrey started to assert themselves in the middle and it was not long before Humphrey’s left-footed effort from the edge of the box forced a save from Moorhouse.Despite a more even half, though, West Ham had the clearer chances and Lehmann should have doubled their lead but skied her opportunity from six yards out. A later dipping strike from Graham was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Moorhouse for a late scare, but in the 89th minute the Hammers finished the job as Jane Ross latched on to a back pass and slotted past Baggaley. Topics Share on Pinterestcenter_img Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Women’s Super League Bristol City Women Facebook Share via Email Beth Mead’s curled effort rounded off the scoring at Meadow Park to bring up a ninth straight win for WSL leaders Arsenal. Photograph: TGSPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp West Ham United Women Reuse this contentlast_img

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