Manchester United Women Match Recap
Manchester United Women got a much-needed win on their Old Trafford debut, picking up three points against West Ham. It was a game of two halves as Manchester United struggled to convert their chances, with manager Casey Stoney saying that, “[if] there was a crowd in here, they would have been disappointed by the first half…. they would have been really pleased with the response [in the second half].” Here’s a look at the Manchester United Women’s performance vs. West Ham.
Manchester United Women: Earps, Thorisdottir, A.Turner, M.Turner, Batlle (Harris 74), Zelem(c) (Ladd 65), Staniforth (Hanson 65), Groenen, Toone, James (Ross 84), Press (Sigsworth 84)
Substitutes not used: Bentley, Smith, Bourne, Jones
West Ham: Brosnan, Redisch (Barker 88), Flaherty, Fisk, Vetterlein, Svitkova, Brynjarsdottir (Cissoko 84), Van Egmond, Longhurst, Dali (Mustafa 88), Thomas (Pacheco 78)
Substitutes not used: Ramsey, Benton
United started the match on top despite West Ham forcing Millie Turner into action within the first minute, heading away a chance from Katerina Svitkova.
The hosts had the first real chance after 10 minutes. Lauren James turned on the edge of the area and fired a screamer towards goal, but keeper Courtney Brosnan was there to deal with the ball. Ella Toone saw her shot blocked by defender Cecilie Redisch, and James’s follow-up deflected out for a set piece. James had a great link-up with Christen Press shortly after. Racing down the left, James crossed to Press, who, despite getting a foot on the ball, couldn’t convert to goal.
The Hammers had another chance after this period of United-dominance, as midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s strike from 20 yards out forced a save from Mary Earps, who didn’t have too much to worry about until then.
United pressed forward, still looking for their first goal at Old Trafford as Katie Zelem’s attempt sailed over the crossbar. James nearly opened the scoring minutes later with a brilliant pass to Press, who played the ball to Toone. The pass went just beyond Toone’s reach, who would’ve needed to toe the ball in from just a few yards out had she connected with the ball. Press and James had a similar chance soon after with Press charging into the box, but her pass to James was blocked out for a corner.
West Ham showed they were threatening on the counter, though, as Martha Thomas saw her shot go just wide. Toone and Jackie Groenen tried their luck next, while Svitkova and Kenza Dali kept Earps busy in the dying minutes.
The Reds were frustrated going into the second half, having nothing to show for a dominating performance. Carrying the momentum of the first half, they finally got their goal on the 49th minute. Defenders Maria Thorisdottir and Millie Turner met the ball in from a corner and flipped the ball to James, who nudged the ball in to the back of the net and became United Women’s first player to score at Old Trafford.
Groened could’ve made it 2-0 had it not been for a fantastic save by Hammers keeper Brosnan. A clearance deflected off of our Dutch international and would’ve added to the hosts’ lead had Brosnan made the save.
Manchester United Women doubled their lead on the 55th minute, as Groenen manoeuvred through the Hammers defence to slip the ball to Press. She fired the ball over the keeper to make it 2-0 for the hosts.
Undeterred, West Ham put up a valiant effort. Brosnan saved another effort from Press that would’ve put the hosts 3-0 up. On the other end, Brynjarsdottir forced Earps into two incredible saves to deny the Hammers a goal.
Lucy Staniforth tried her chance next on the hour mark. She broke past the Hammers defence and aimed the ball low but her effort was pushed wide by Brosnan. United kept searching for the third goal to see off the game and were proving tough to deal with; so much so that West Ham’s Laura Vetterein was sent off for a second yellow, with 10 minutes left.
Amy Turner could have made it 3-0 in the dying minutes had she not been flagged offside. Kirsty Hanson’s chance that went wide of the net was the last chance of the game.
Manchester United Women: Wrap up
While the Manchester United Women had an impressive debut performance at Old Trafford, they’ll no doubt be frustrated with their missed opportunities. Stoney will especially be worried about her team’s inability to deal with set-pieces.
Manchester United Women’s match is away against Brighton Hove Albion, on April 4th.