Manchester United’s Women’s Team progressed to the semi-finals of the FA Women’s Continental League Cup with a decisive 2-0 victory over West Ham United.
An own goal and strike from Jess Sigsworth in each half proved to be the difference as United took the scalp of a side one division ahead of them.
Casey Stoney’s side faced West Ham United in the quarter final of the Continental League Cup. Man United were the lowest ranking team remaining in the competition at kick-off, despite having qualified top of their group with three wins and only one defeat in the opening stage of the competition.
FT: #MUWomen 2 West Ham 0.
— Manchester United Women (@ManUtdWomen) January 9, 2019
Alex Greenwood and Lauren James almost combined to take the lead in the opening ten minutes. Greenwood played a searching ball into the box. James’ header almost looked to be going into the goal but unfortunately it edged around the outside of the post. However, the two players combined again in the build up to United’s goal. Greenwood found James further up the left wing. James’ cross created some chaos in the box and the pressure from Mollie Green saw Kate Longhurst send the ball into her own net.
There were opportunities for both sides as the first half wore on. Greenwood’s free-kick, after Jess Sigsworth was brought down just outside the box, forced Becky Spencer into making a save. Then it was Siobhan Chamberlain’s turn to defend her goal. The Hammers broke on the counter, with Jane Ross finding Ria Percival, who in turn crossed to left-back Claire Rafferty but Chamberlain caught her effort.
Green saw a great effort well saved by Spencer, before Millie Turner sent a header over the bar from a corner. More crucially, in the 41st minute Chamberlain made a point blank save, stopping a close range shot. to ensure United retained the lead going into half-time.
Early in the second half West Ham issued a warning to United. Spencer’s long ball forward was knocked down to Longhurst whose half-volley from 30 yards out hit the woodwork. The rebound was skied by Alisha Lehmann, fortunately. Moments later United responded. United pressed the visitors and won back possession with Jess Sigsworth’s strike from the edge of the box finding the goal.
James had a couple of chances to make it 3-0 for United. The first came after some effortless football in the final third. The space opened up for the 17-year-old and she curled a strike goalwards, unfortunately the woodwork thwarted her attempt. Half-time substitute Kirsty Hanson, did really well on the right wing. Hanson squared the ball to James, who hit the ball as though it was too easy. The West Ham defence made her regret that when the strike was blocked. Greenwood’s follow up went wide.
Unfortunately James went off with a knock to her left leg with ten minutes remaining. The midfielder had been struggling for a short while prior to being replaced by fellow teenager, Ella Toone. A late strike from Percival thundered off the post in extra time but there was to be no late consolation for the Hammers.
The win sees United through to the semi-finals of the Continental League Cup.
Man United: Chamberlain Harris, A.Turner, M.Turner, Smith, Green, Zelem, Greenwood (c), James (Toone 80′), Arnot (Hanson 45′), Sigsworth.
Substitutes: Palmer, Hartley, Ramsey, Roberts, Devlin.
Goal(s): Green (17′), Sigsworth (53′).
Booking(s): Sigsworth (91′).
West Ham United: Spencer, Percival, Flaherty (c), Sampson (Simon 65′), Hendrix, Rafferty, Reichardt (Kmita 76′) , Longhurst, Visalli, Lehmann, Ross.
Substitutes: Moorhouse, Kmita.
Booking(s): Hendrix (24′), Percival (81′).