West Ham were left empty-handed as they lost 1-0 at home to Reading on Sunday afternoon.
The home side had golden opportunities to earn their first points at their new ground, Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Reading goalkeeper Grace Maloney produced a superb performance, including saving Kenza Dali’s spot kick in the second half. Lauren Bruton’s first half tap in was enough for the visitors to secure all three points.
This result leaves West Ham in ninth position in the Barclays’s Women’s’ Super League and continue to search for their first WSL win.
West Ham head coach Matt Beard spoke openly about his team’s performance as they failed to take their chances and turning those opportunities into goals.
“I think it was an okay performance, I thought we dominated the first 20-25-minute period. I thought we had some glorious chances early on in the game to go in-front, maybe we could have been out of sight?”
“In the second half, we had Leon’s chance at the far post, we’ve had a penalty and for whatever reason it just didn’t go for us in front of goal today. I think sometimes you have to credit the opposition's goalkeeper; I think she’s made some really good saves today.”
Lauren Bruton’s goal on the half hour mark proved to be the difference and defended superbly throughout to seal the win.
“The one real opportunity that they had, we got punished and that’s top-level football! If you don’t take your chances, then you get punished."
Loss of Gill Flaherty
West Ham captain Gill Flaherty was suspended for this game and VAVEL UK’s Mitul Samji asked the Hammers’ head coach on the skipper loss in their home defeat to Reading.
“[Gilly] is a fantastic player. Her leadership skills and the way she talks on the pitch is a big loss for us. I felt So-Hyun [Cho] done a good job stepping up at centre-back today because we lost Laura Vetterlein as well on training two weeks ago.
“To lose our two main centre-backs is hard and been playing together for a year and a half. It was frustrating and felt [Grace] Fisk and Cho done well today against a tough side.”
Rise of the Women’s Super League
Matt Beard was asked about the development of the Women’s Super League and continued rise if the Women’s Super League secure TV Rights with Sky Sports.
“The development is getting better every year and this is the third year in the professional league. I was lucky with Liverpool and one of the first teams that went professional and so did Manchester City. It is now a professional league.
"This will benefit the young England players and the national team long-term but that will be a process. We only to look at the players that this league has attracted, what is a real tough time at the moment. This league continues to go from strength to strength.”
West Ham have a good run of games over the next few weeks which they can manage to get some victories under their belt to kickstart their season.
“We always break the games down and we’ll look at what went well and what we need to improve on. We said at half time today ‘we need to relax a little bit’, we’re up against a team that presses you and tries to dominate the area of the pitch where the ball is.”
Despite having numerous chances, they failed to capitalise and Hammers head coach is confident that team will start scoring goals again.
“Sometimes we took an extra touch when there was space in behind, it’s a learning process. It’s only our third game since we started last month, we’re just in October, we’ve played three games and we’ve got new players to bed in.
“We’ve got three games in seven days. So, it’s about rest and recovery, making sure that we are fresh for Wednesday and then Sunday against Everton.”
"I’d be more worried if we weren’t creating the chances, but today we just haven’t taken them.”