West Ham Ladies came back twice to snatch a late point against Swindon Town Ladies at Thurrock, leaving them 10th in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division, and giving the team a bigger chance to avoid relegation.
Speaking after the game manager Greg De Carnys said: “It means a lot to the players; you can see the passion in their eyes and you can see that it means something in the celebrations when the goal went in.
“Dayna is a fantastic footballer, she can get on the ball and make things happen, you saw with the goal that she can do all sorts things, she’s a joy to watch.”
The game started evenly but the first chances of the game came to Swindon as Chyna Collings headed wide from a long free-kick. Soon after Georgia Walters fired from long range but her shot bounced over the bar.
Molly Peters, who was getting good service from her teammates, had the first shot for West Ham. However, it was aimed straight at the Swindon keeper Robyn Levett.
Swindon were pressing high up the pitch well and took the lead on the 14th minute as Amy Cooper uncharacteristically gave the ball away, which led to Walters giving them the lead with a simple finish.
The lead did not last long as Peters showed her great pace to get around the back of the defence and slot the ball in to level the score. West Ham had got their confidence back and were pressing to take the lead.
The ball found its way to Julie Melfald who was in a good area but her shot was blocked, while Chantelle Mackie was consistently linking up well with Chloe Burr down the right with Burr’s skills causing problems for Swindon’s defenders.
Cooper and Chong were moving the ball well in the middle of the park while Hannah Wheeler and Jodie Jacobs continued with their impressive partnership at the back.
Shannon Aulbery and Cooper took ambitious efforts from outside the box but they both failed to trouble Levett.
On the 35th minute against the run of play Swindon took the lead from a Walters penalty as the referee deemed Wheeler’s challenge in the box to be a foul.
West Ham did not let their heads drop and continued to try and get back into this game. However, missed chances and poor final balls in attacking positions let them down and the half finished 2-1 to the visitors.
Into the second half, and the Hammers started with determination. Early on after some good passing play the ball fell to Peters whose effort went narrowly wide.
Burr fired a powerful shot at the Swindon goal which was beaten away by Levett, while at the other end Lottie Ivison in the West Ham goal had little to do.
Whitney Locke, who rescued the Hammers two weeks ago against the same opposition, was introduced in an attempt to turn the score line around.
The game was looking like it was one of those days for West Ham as more missed chances and failure to break down the Swindon defence was letting them down.
It all looked over until in the 85th minute West Ham had a corner cleared which fell to Chong on the edge of the box. She kept her composure and fired in an unbelievable volley into the Swindon net.
De Carnys added: “We played some really good stuff, these girls have come a long way. We’ve now got three more league games which will be a good challenge for us, which we will relish and everyone can see that we are getting better.
“We were creating lots of chances but it doesn’t always happen to you in the penalty area, we’re hopeful that we can take that progress that we’ve been making over the last few months into these final games and get the points we need to stay in the division.”
The Hammers pressed for a winner but the game finished 2-2. The Ladies go on to play Spurs Ladies in their next game in the FA Women’s Premier League.