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West Ham boss Beard pleased to have a number of players back in Palace triumph

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 December 2019

West Ham manager Matt Beard (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

West Ham manager Matt Beard (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

West Ham Women manager Matt Beard was pleased to hand a number of players vital minutes as they cruised to a 7-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the Continental Cup.

Braces from Kenza Dali and Kate Longhurst as well as goals from Leanne Kiernan, Adriana Leon and Laura Vetterlein sealed the comfortable win for the Hammers in their final match at Rush Green Stadium in 2019.

Hammers manager Matt Beard made a number of changes for the cup tie and even rested the likes of Alisha Lehmann and South Korean midfielder Cho So-Hyun.

While Esmee de Graaf made her first West Ham start since returning from an ACL injury sustained last December and Julia Simic made her first Irons appearance in 364 days, having last pulled on the Claret and Blue in the same midweek cup contest this time last year.

"We played well tonight (Wednesday); we managed to get minutes into players as well, which was really important.

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"Tessel Middag played 90 minutes, Leanne Kiernan has come back from suspension, Jacynta Galabadaarachchi played another hour but more importantly Julia Simic was back on the pitch tonight and for us that was great to see.

"She's had a tough year since she last played for us, she's such a great character, and it's great to have her back out on the pitch."

He added: "I was really pleased especially second-half, I thought we were dominate, Kenza Dali was unplayable and it was good to see as we looked like we were enjoying ourselves and played with good intensity.

"We created numerous chances, I thought our counter press was good, something we spoke about before was not turning the ball over in silly areas and having to make 40 to 50 yard runs and we did that."

They failed to progress into the next stage of the cup competition as Reading sealed a penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea after a 1-1 draw.

"It was a tough group, there are some good teams in it, but we had the opportunity here against Tottenham when we were 2-0 down in that penalty shoot-out so that's the one that hurt us."

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