We take an in-depth look at Reading FC Women's opponents West Ham ahead of our clash at Chigwell Construction Stadium on Wednesday.
New look Hammers
West Ham Head Coach Matt Beard was a busy man pre-season with no less than 10 first team players moving on, and eight new faces arriving in East London. From within the FA WSL midfielder Ruby Grant has moved from Arsenal while former Reading full back Maz Pacheco made the journey east up the M4. Headline signing was that of the versatile England international Rachel Daly who has joined on loan from Houston Dash. The 28-year old has been in the United States for the last 8 years and captained the Dash to their first trophy, the Challenge Cup where she won the Golden Boot and was named the tournament’s MVP. Two Australians have moved to East London – goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold and midfielder Emily van Egmond, the latter on loan from Orlando Pride. French defender Hawa Cissoko has arrived from ASJ Soyaux while Swedish forward Nor Mustafa joined from Eskilstuna United in her home country. Finally, another forward Katerina Svitková has moved from Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic. Interestingly English players make up just 40% of this season’s Hammers squad.
The Continental Cup – where are we now?
The group stages of this season’s competition kicked off on October 7th. At the Madejski the Royals’ class proved too much for Championship side Charlton Athletic, Kelly Chambers’ side winning 4-0. The meeting between the other two sides in Group D though was a much tighter affair. Rachel Daly put West Ham ahead at Brighton & Hove’s People’s Pension Stadium only for goals from Megan Connolly and Rianna Jarrett to put the hosts 2-1 ahead. A late equaliser from Hammers’ captain Gilly Flaherty took the tie to a penalty shoot-out which the Hammers won 4-2 to claim the extra point. With just the top team guaranteed a place in the Knock-out stage, the table stands as follows:
West Ham United v Reading
Charlton Athletic v Brighton & Hove
Charlton Athletic v West Ham United
Brighton & Hove v Reading
Just a month ago the Royals travelled to Victoria Road and triumphed 1-0 in the FA WSL, the highlights for Reading being Lauren Bruton’s first half goal, and Grace Maloney’s second half penalty save from Kenza Dali. This was Reading’s second consecutive win at West Ham after last season’s dramatic WSL 3-2 success when they scored three times in the final 15 minutes to overturn a two-goal deficit. Goals from Jade More and Brooke Chaplen defeated the Hammers 2-0 in the return WSL fixture at Adams Park in February. In last season’s Conti Cup, the sides met at the Madejski in the Group stages, the Londoners winning 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Swiss international Alisha Lehmann.
West Ham United Women v Reading FC Women | Wednesday 4th November | 7.30pm | Chigwell Construction Stadium