West Ham fought back from 2-0 down to take a precious point back to East London as Molly Peters and Whitney Locke struck goals at the end of each half, in what was a strong display of mental courage from the team.
Josh Ewens, the West Ham assistant manager speaking to the club’s official website said “It was a real test of their character and there have been times earlier in the season when we have crumbled a bit, but we certainly did the opposite of that.”
The Hammers started Sunday’s game well by dominating the play as usual, but Swindon scored against the run of play through Michelle Rich, whose goal arguably shouldn’t have stood as she appeared yards offside.
The Robins soon doubled their lead as Chyna Collings fired in from outside the box. Greg De Carnys’s side however refused to let the scoreline get to their heads and continued to play their passing game of football.
The conditions were tough for the West Ham ladies but this did not stop a strong midfield of Amy Cooper, Julie Melfald and Dayna Chong who were putting great passes in for Peters who, with her great pace, was causing big problems for Swindon.
The striker finally got one back for the Hammers with a great finish placed under the keeper.
During the second half West Ham had the wind in their sails, as Chloe Burr and Shannon Albuery fired from range but the side could not convert their chances.
Hannah Wheeler and Jodie Jacobs continued with their impressive partnership dealing with any potential Swindon attacks. Full backs Chantelle Mackie and Jasmine Auguste were defending well too, as well as getting forward and contributing to the attacks.
Substitute Locke got the equaliser on the 88th minute for West Ham with a clever finish. After some great celebrations the Hammers got the ball back to the centre circle to try and get a winner in the short amount of time remaining.
However, despite their best efforts they were unable to find a way through and travelled back to East London with a point.
Ewens continued after the game praising his team’s mental strength:
“We’re starting to turn the performances into results and those draws will start turning into three points soon.
“We look forward to taking Swindon to our place, with hopefully better conditions, with a pitch that suits our football”.
“We have to be confident that, if we play as well as we can do, then we can certainly get results from that game and the Lewes game [at home on 30 April]. I think we’re optimistic that we will put in good performances against teams like Tottenham [away on 26 March] as well.
“We proved that when we played Spurs that, when these girls are on their game and play as well as we know we can, we can challenge any team in terms of the way that we play.”
West Ham will play Swindon Town again in their next game at Thurrock FC on Sunday 12 March.