FA Women’s Super League
WEST HAM UNITED WOMEN 1 ASTON VILLA WOMEN 2
JOHN CHUBB at the Chigwell Construction Stadium
Both teams put in a battling performance in the early stages of what turned out to be an entertaining match, but the first time anyone wasn’t far from scoring wasn’t until the 14th minute, when Aston Villa’s Jordan Nobbs fired a shot over from the edge of the area.
West Ham had their first opportunity to open the scoring in the 17th minute, when Risa Shimizu had a shot blocked by Maz Pacheco, and Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton comfortably gathered the resulting corner.
With 27 minutes gone the Hammers came agonisingly close to taking the lead, when Viviane Asseyi set off on a marauding run towards the penalty box and fired a powerful shot which Hampton pushed onto the right hand post, and after the ball bounced back into play Amalie Thestrup had a follow-up effort blocked.
But it was Villa who went in front after 34 minutes, when England international Rachel Daly found herself in plenty of space outside the box and fired a rocket of an effort past Hammers keeper MacKenzie Arnold to put her side 1-0 up.
West Ham coach Paul Konchesky made a half-time substitution, introducing club captain Dagny Brynjarsdottir in place of Lisa Evans in midfield.
Daly had a shot blocked in the 56th minute, but six minutes later her Villa and England colleague Nobbs slid the ball into the net to Arnold’s right following an assist from Kirsty Hanson, and the Midlanders had doubled their lead.
With 16 minutes of the match remaining Daly once again found the net, but her goal was disallowed for offside on this occasion.
West Ham were back in the game within minutes though – Viviane Asseyi had a goal disallowed for offside, but in the 79th minute her close range header put the hosts back into the match.
The Hammers were extremely close to levelling the scores when a left footed strike from Brynjarsdottir hit the woodwork, and continued to push for an equaliser during injury time, but the visitors held on for all three points and maintained their unbeaten start to 2023.
West Ham Women stay in seventh place, whilst Aston Villa Women remain fifth.
WEST HAM UNITED WOMEN (Coach: Paul Konchesky): MacKenzie Arnold, Kirsty Smith, Risa Shimizu, Lisa Evans (Dagny Brynjarsdottir 45), Emma Searle, Amalie Thestrup (Izzy Atkinson 63), Lucy Parker, Honoka Hayashi (Kate Longhurst 76), Grace Fisk, Hawa Sissoko (c), Viviane Asseyi.
ASTON VILLA WOMEN (Coach: Carla Ward) Hannah Hampton, Sarah Mayling, Rachel Corsie (c), Alisha Lehmann (Laura Blinkilde-Brown 69), Rachel Daly, Kenza Dali (Ruesha Littlejohn 82, Anna Patten 87), Lucy Staniforth, Danielle Turner, Kirsty Hanson, Maz Pacheco, Jordan Nobbs (Emily Gielnik 69).