West Ham United Women moves closer to WSL safety with Aston Villa Point
Aston Villa Women 0-0 West Ham United Women
Barclays FA Women’s Super League
Sunday, May 2, 2021
The women of West Ham United were forced to settle for a point against Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon after a 0-0 draw at Villa Park.
Both teams had golden chances to score what would have been the competition’s decisive goal, but both teams lacked clinical finish.
As it stands West Ham takes ninth place in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table, safety seems increasingly likely unless other results upset them.
Olli Harder made a change from the 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Wednesday night: Martha Thomas returned to the starting XI, replacing Laura Vetterlein who fell on the bench.
The Hammers got off to a good start at Villa Park, with two dangerous balls crackling into Aston Villa’s penalty area. Dagny Brynjarsdottir was about to make contact but couldn’t quite reach Cecilie Redisch’s first ball.
Thomas had another chance with five minutes elapsed in the contest, but she couldn’t direct her effort to the target after a turn led by Kenza Dali.
Grace Fisk had the first clear opportunity of the game at seven minutes. Brynjarsdottir did well to earn a header at the far post, but Fisk couldn’t find the target with the shot at point blank range.
Dominance continued for the Hammers and Kenza Dali was next to come close as his free kick rustled through the side net at ten minutes.
Villa grew in the game, but it was West Ham who continued to create chances, Brynjarsdottir closing in once more, his header just flying over the crossbar.
A more well-worked game followed, with Dali and Thomas combining to set up Emily van Egmond, but the Australian’s effort was held by Lisa Weiss in Villa’s goal.
Marcus Bignot’s side settled into the game but couldn’t offer much in the third striker. The Hammers were keen to put the ball on the ground and play on the pristine surface of Villa Park.
Better play on the right side gave van Egmond another close opportunity, but Weiss was more than equal in effort.
Another golden opportunity presented itself for West Ham with one minute before the break. More superb play on the right side gave Brynjarsdottir a tap, but a block on the line thwarted the East Londoners.
The home side flew out of the traps after the break with Shania Hayles breaking behind the West Ham backline. His tame effort was turned down by Arnold, who made two very good point-blank saves to keep the score line level.
Thomas continued to fall between the three center-backs with his piercing points behind, but the striker was denied at an acute angle by Weiss.
After the scare of the start of half-time, Harder’s team regained control of the fight, which caused problems for Villa with their free-kick delivery.
Redisch had the opportunity to give her team the lead with 56 minutes on the clock, but the Norwegian drew her efforts into the side net.
The home team had another breakaway opportunity, but Hawa Cissoko and Gilly Flaherty joined forces to prevent Stine Larsen from creating a shooting opportunity.
The Hammers responded with incredible luck on their part when Dali appeared to have gotten around Weiss, but superb defense from the Villans kept the ball out of the net.
Thomas had another fantastic run behind Villa’s baseline, only for the crossbar to turn him down with just ten minutes left on the clock.
Villa still threatened to counterattack whenever they could, but Arnold was once again on the spot to deny an instant shot from substitute Freya Gregory.
With the clock ticking, West Ham looked to find that crucial goal, but Dali’s effort narrowly passed the post – the game seemed destined for the end of the level anchor.
Just as the fourth official’s sign came up to signal an extra five minutes, Flaherty had a shot that got stuck on the line.
Moments later, van Egmond saw his shot crash into the crossbar, as Bignot’s side clung to claim a point from Villa Park.
West Ham United Women: Arnold, Redisch, Pacheco, Flaherty, Thomas, Longhurst, Dali, Fisk, Cissoko, Van Egmond, Brynjarsdottir (Vetterlein 90).
Submarines: Brosnan, Mustafa, Barker, Denton.
Aston Villa Women: Weiss, Ale, N’Dow, Asante, Arthur (Hanssen 86), Larsen, Hutton (Ewers 45), Haigh (Follis 86), McLoughlin, Iwabuchi (Syme 79), Hayles (Gregory 65).
Subs: Rogers, Petzelberger, West, Siems.
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