WSL: West Ham Women 1 Birmingham City 0
PUBLISHED: 18:16 15 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:16 15 September 2019
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Adriana Leon’s well-taken goal was the difference as West Ham edged victory over Birmingham at Rush Green Stadium.
West Ham began to put the pressure on Birmingham as debutant Jacynta Galabadaarachichi's shot from 25 yards was heading for the top corner, but Hannah Hampton made a good save.
Leon's well-placed finish came on 28 minutes after Martha Thomas held the ball up well and played in the left midfielder who slotted the ball into the left corner just inside the Birmingham area.
Birmingham responded well towards the end of the first half as they began to see more of the ball and nearly got the equaliser when former Hammer Brianna Visalli was played in on 40 minutes could not convert after good pressure from the West Ham defence.
Staniforth then had two long range efforts from 30 yards just before the half-time whistle but both saw Courtney Brosnan produce comfortable saves to keep West Ham's clean sheet.
Birmingham started the second half brightly and had a good chance on 49 minutes as Claudia Walker just shot wide of the post from the edge of the area.
Thomas then had an excellent one-on-one opportunity fifteen minutes from time to double West Ham's lead after a long ball from Brosnan beat the Birmingham defence, but she shot just wide.
With 10 minutes left Staniforth worked a shot from 25 yards out which Brosnan could only palm onto the post. She thought the ball had crossed the line, but the linesman gave no goal.
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West Ham manager Matt Beard said: "We're delighted to get the three points on board because we've had a tough pre-season and a tough start against Arsenal but it's important that we win here.
"There were loads of fans that turned out and I want to thank the fans for that. It's great to get the three points in the bag now. That's something that we've got and we can hopefully focus on our performances now.
"It's vitally important to take our chances. If we weren't creating them then I'd be worried but we are creating those chances and as long as we keep doing that then we've got to put the faith in the players that they will put the ball in the back of the net.
"We're only two games into the season and I'm sure as time goes on then we will convert those chances.
"From our perspective, we were frustrated not to get a win and disappointed not to get a point last week. Today, the performance wasn't the best, but we've won so it can be a funny old game sometimes."
West Ham (4-4-2): Brosnan, Simon (Kvamme 64), Flaherty, Thomas, Baunach (Hendrix 82), Longhurst, Galabadaarachichi (Lehmann 57), Leon, So-Hyun, Dali, Vetterlein.
Unused subs: Moorhouse, Middag.
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