Match Reports

Albion go out despite shoot-out success

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Megan Walsh saves three penalties but West Ham qualify in Conti Cup after goalless 90 minutes.

By Bruce Talbot • 18 January 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Megan Walsh denies Grace Fisk from the spot, one of three saves by the Albion keeper.

Albion are out of the Continental Tyres League Cup despite a penalty shoot-out victory over West Ham United at the Broadfield Stadium.

The game ended 0-0 after 90 minutes, which was enough to secure the Hammers’ place in the quarter-finals but there was still a shoot-out for the extra point and Albion keeper Megan Walsh saved all three West Ham penalties, denying Mel Filis, Grace Fisk and Halle Houssein.

Maisie Symonds, Victoria Williams and Jorja Fox scored for Albion with the last two penalties taken at the other end after the referee decided the penalty spot at the southern goal had frozen.

It was a bizarre end to a game in which Albion dominated possession but West Ham probably had the better goalscoring chances.

By Paul Hazlewood
Guro Bergsvand looks to break up a West Ham attack.

But it was a step forward for Albion after Sunday’s WSL loss to Leicester City.

Jens Scheuer made three changes to the as Williams, Yeeun Park and Brianna Visalli came into the team.

They lined up in a 3-5-2 formation with Zoe Morse on the left of the defensive trio and Williams and Bergsvand alongside her.

And it was Bergsvand who went close to opening the scoring when Geummin Lee’s clever pass found her in space and the Norwegian’s drive across the face of goal flashed just wide of the far post.

By Paul Hazlewood
Zoe Morse starts another attack.

Lee was a bright spark for Albion, roaming all over the pitch to try and create opportunities but the home side, despite dominating possession, found it hard to break down West Ham’s well-organised defence. The sides had been involved in a nine-goal thriller in November but three of Albion’s goalscorers that day were absent for this one.

And it was the visitors, in a rare first-half attack, who went closest to scoring before the break. Lisa Evans’ cross was cleared to Honoko Hayashi in the D. Her pass found Izzy Atkinson unmarked but her left-foot effort struck the base of the post.

Walsh stood firm to deny Vivianne Asseyi at the start of the second half but Albion continued to dominate possession and a lovely back-heel by Fox in the box created space for Kayleigh Green but she shot straight at ‘keeper Mackenzie Arnold.

Albion went close again when Williams did well to keep Katie Robinson’s cross in play and hook it to Green, whose shot was blocked. It was the Wales international’s last involvement with Symonds replacing her in attack.

By Paul Hazlewood
Jorja Fox controls the ball.

West Ham were happy to soak up pressure and hit Albion on the break and it needed Morse to head Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s shot off the line in the 67th minute, moments after the Icelandic international had tested Walsh with an effort from the edge of the box.

The visitors were offering much more of a threat. Lisa Evans ran onto a pass but lifted her shot over the bar then shot wide after Asseyi had robbed Bergsvand on the touchline and set up her teammate.

By Paul Hazlewood
Kayleigh Green's second-half shot is blocked.

Both sides ran out of steam in the closing stages and with the game ending goalless there was a penalty shoot-out to decide who collected the extra point, which Albion won decisively.

Albion: Walsh, Fox, Williams, Bergsvand, Morse, Visalli (Bance 83), Park, Zigiotti, Lee (Pattinson 70), Robinson, Green (Symonds 63).

Subs not used: Startup, Stott, Jarvis, Lane, Mitchell.

Referee: Kirsty Dowle

Attendance: 1005