Hull City Ladies fell at the final hurdle today as they were beaten by a classy West Ham side in the WPL Plate Semi-Final. The Tigresses battled well in the first half against their opposition from the league above but the Hammers’ class shone through in the second half as they notched three goals to advance to the final.
West Ham started on the front foot and could have taken the lead after just two minutes when Rosie Kmita pulled a shot across the goal and wide. It was a reasonably even start to the game and the Tigresses could have scored in the 7th minute when Katie Thompson shrugged off her marker and crossed to Rebecca Beech who could only shoot wide. Three minutes later Hope Knight looked to have been brought down in the box but the referee wasn’t interested in the penalty appeals.
Much of the game was played in the midfield in the first half with neither team able to grasp the game by the scruff of the neck. The next chance fell to West Ham who had just seen their own penalty appeals waved away. A corner was given instead and the cross hit the post as it curled in on the wind.
Towards the end of the half the visitors began to get on the front foot and Amy Kay had to be on hand in the 35th minute to block a powerful shot. At the other end Thompson did well to pull the ball back to Sophie Stamp who could only shoot over the bar.
Just before half time West Ham thought they had taken the lead when Kelly Wealthall found the back of the net but the flag was up and the Tigresses breathed a sigh of relief as half time approached.
HT Hull City Ladies 0-0 West Ham Ladies
The Tigresses started the second half much better than they did in the first and some supporters thought they had taken the lead when Meg Render’s lofted shot looked like it might be sailing in but it went just over the bar. The home side enjoyed a good period of pressure but couldn’t find the net and they were soon punished.
West Ham scored the opening goal on the hour mark. The lively Kelly Wealthall latched onto the through ball and rounded an advancing Amy Halloran before slotting the ball into an empty net. This was a blow for the Tigresses but they could have equalised straight away. Katie Thompson got the ball at the back post and stabbed a shot past the keeper but it was cleared off the line!
Despite that scare West Ham had their tails up and began to show their class. Kelly Wealthall notched her second of the game after a neat move down the right. The ball was pulled back to Wealthall who tucked a shot away first time into the bottom corner.
City Ladies couldn’t get going in the second half and the opposition seemed to be energised when they went ahead. The Hammers were well on top and killed the game off in the 73rd minute. Andria Georgiou showed her class with a terrific shot from the edge of the box that flew past Halloran and into the top corner. A touch of class from the midfielder who bossed the game especially in the second half.
To their credit the Tigresses didn’t let their heads go down and kept battling until the end but they couldn’t find a consolation goal. The Hammers cruised to victory in the end to progress to the Plate final.
FT Hull City Ladies 0-3 West Ham United Ladies
Ultimately today was a disappointing one for the Tigresses and the players said as much after the game. West Ham were the best team we have seen City Ladies play so far and they showed their quality in the second half. Attention must now turn back to the league with ten massive games to go for the Tigresses to achieve their promotion dreams.
We caught up with Head Coach Danny Johnson after the game to get his thoughts on the defeat. You can watch the video below,