"We need to be better in key moments." - Olli Harder after West Ham's draw against Birmingham City
(Photo by Jacques Feeney - The FA/The FA via Getty Images )

West Ham Women manager Olli Harder was left disappointed after his side drew 1-1 at home to Birmingham to end their winning run in the Women’s Super League

Olli Harder’s West Ham side began the game with high intensity but the visitors restricted them to very few sights of goal in the opening 25 minutes.

Five minutes before half-time, Birmingham registered their first effort on goal through Lisa Robertson, whose left-footed effort from long range forced West Ham goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold into a comfortable save.

The visitors continued to maintain their defensive shape at the start of the second half and Lucy Quinn tried her luck from the edge of the box, but her effort went over the bar.

Three minutes later, Claudia Walker picked up possession in her own half and embarked on a solo run before curling a 20-yard effort over Birmingham goalkeeper Marie Hourihan to give West Ham a deserved lead.

Harder’s side could have doubled their lead soon afterwards, with Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s cross almost turned in for an own goal before Tameka Yallop’s effort at the near post was brilliantly saved by Hourihan.

With 25 minutes remaining, Louise Quinn tapped past Arnold from close range after West Ham failed to clear the danger from Robertson’s corner to hand the visitors an equaliser and get their season up and running at the fifth time of asking.

  • Olli Harder’s thoughts

Claudia Walker notched a curling effort in the 54th minute after beating the Birmingham defence to open the scoring for West Ham, who had beaten Leicester and Manchester City in their previous two games. 

But just after the hour mark, Louise Quinn’s tap-in levelled the scores and left the Hammers in sixth position. 

“We should be taking more points at home and this is how the game goes,” said Harder. 

“Man City had a lot of the ball last week when we won and we had lot of the ball this week and picked up a draw, so it is not about having a lot of the ball. We weren’t effective enough today. 

“Our analyst and the coaching staff have done a fantastic job in predicting how the game was going to play out just like that. We have worked on these situations all week and we weren’t clinical enough. 

"Bottom line is about results and to win football matches. If we are going to do that, we need to be better in key moments.” 

  • Scott Booth’s thoughts

Birmingham manager Scott Booth praised his side’s response after they earned their first point of the season at the fifth time of asking.

They still sit second bottom and have failed to win a league game since beating rivals Aston Villa 1-0 last November but Booth said: “I thought it was a really good performance. I thought it was very structured.

“It’s what we’ve been working on, having a little bit more of an attacking transition threat, and I thought today we had that. When the players had to put their bodies on the line, they did it and worked so hard for each other.

“They’ve (West Ham) have shown already this season how capable they are of hurting the best teams in the league. So we had to be really organised and I felt that we were.

“You can play like that and then you end up losing the game and it’s hard to take and you don’t really build any momentum, but I think we are starting to do that and gaining the point makes the players feel like it’s worth it.

"It’s a really good point away from home against a team that’s been flying.”

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