Rianna Jarrett seals late victory for Brighton over West Ham
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Women’s Super League: West Ham United 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Rianna Jarrett’s second-half header earned Brighton their first victory since opening day against West Ham in the Barclays Women’s Super League.
The hosts created several fine chances in the first half but were punished for their profligacy by Jarrett’s well-taken effort on 69 minutes.
Brighton remain in eighth after their second win of the season, while West Ham suffered a fourth successive home defeat.
The Seagulls were without manager Hope Powell and other backroom staff in isolation in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.
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Jarrett was on song from the start with audacious long shot flying wide after three minutes.
West Ham’s Martha Thomas broke through on goal, but her strike was well saved by Cecilie Fiskerstrand.
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The home side were on top and Thomas had another excellent chance 20 minutes later, but she dragged her shot wide from just inside the box.
Shortly after the restart Thomas forced Fiskerstrand to claim centimetres from her goalline with a dangerous looping cross into the box.
Her opposite number Mackenzie Arnold was then forced to tip the ball over from a goal-bound Seagulls corner.
The Hammers had further opportunities on the hour mark but Adrianna Leon shot over and Alisha Lehmann hit just wide.
Brighton made the breakthrough with their next attack, Jarrett clipping the ball over the onrushing Arnold and beating the defender to nod the loose ball home.
The Seagulls should have immediately extended their lead, but Inessa Kaagman’s shot was well saved.
In the hunt for an equaliser both substitute Kenza Dali and Laura Vetterlein shot straight at Fiskerstrand in the Brighton goal.
Gilly Flaherty and substitute Leanne Kiernan blasted over in injury time with the Hammers frustrated by the Brighton rearguard.
The win was only Brighton’s second ever top flight triumph in London.
To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com.
West Ham manager Matt Beard said: “We didn’t take our chances. “We could have had the game won in the first half, and had numerous opportunities again in the second half we didn’t convert for whatever reason.
“We said at half-time we need to convert our chances, because they get that one opportunity, luck of the bounce a little, and that’s punished us. It’s frustrating.
“We’ve started to get everyone back fit again, and you could see that with the dominance we had.
“In the second half, they stopped us playing higher, so they deserve credit for that, but there was still space in behind. We just didn’t choose the right pass today in the last 20 minutes.
“There’s nothing more the girls could have done other than score.
“I don’t think it’s a surprise result, they’ve caused a lot of teams a lot of problems. But we should have won the game on the basis of the performance and the chances we created. “Apart from getting on the pitch myself and putting them in, I don’t know what more we could have done today.”
Brighton manager Hope Powell said via Zoom: “Having a clear six days to prepare helped us and the coaches who had to stand in. It was more relaxed than it felt last week.
“It’s very difficult to watch from the sofa, but the messages got through. Last week was a trial run, but it didn’t work, so we changed some things.
“The team who stepped in have been brilliant, and they will continue to deliver when we play Reading.
“We didn’t play particularly well, so we need to look at that. But they dug deep, they competed, the players that came on did well, and more importantly, we got the points.
“Hopefully Women’s Football Weekend will inspire the next generation by giving fans, especially young girls, the opportunity to see their clubs play on the TV and FA Player.
“I’ve watched every game and there has been some really good viewing.”
West Ham United (3-4-3): Mackenzie Arnold, Gilly Flaherty, Alisha Lehmann, Martha Thomas, Katerina Svitkova, Cho So-hyun, Adriana Leon, Grace Fisk, Emily Van Egmond, Laura Vetterlein, Rachel Daly
Substitutes: Kenza Dali for Svitkova 66, Cecilie Redisch for Lehmann 80, Hawa Cissoko for Cho 80, Leanne Kiernan for Leon 90
Substitutes not used: Courtney Brosnan, Nor Mustafa, Kate Longhurst, Ruby Grant, Lois Joel
Brighton & Hove Albion Women (3-4-3): Cecile Fiskerstrand, Felicity Gibbons, Danielle Bowman, Danique Kerkdijk, Maya Le Tissier, Aileen Whelan, Inessa Kaagman, Denise O’Sullivan, Kayleigh Green, Emily Simpkins, Rianna Jarrett
Substitutes: Geum-min Lee for Simpkins 67, Nora Heroum for Green 80, Libby Bance for Jarrett 90
Substitutes not used: Megan Walsh, Rebekah Stott, Ellie Brazil, Kirsty Barton, Faith Nokuthula
Goals: Jarrett 69
Bookings: Green 44