West Ham Women 1 Manchester United Women 1

Sunday 03 March 2024 17:00

Manchester United Women were held to a 1-1 draw with West Ham United in the Women's Super League, as Viviane Asseyi's strike cancelled out Rachel Williams's opener.

Marc Skinner's side took the lead after just five minutes at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, as Katie Zelem helped pick the pocket of the Hammers defence, teeing up Williams to smash home past Mackenzie Arnold.

Lucia Garcia and Zelem both went close for the Reds as we looked to build on our advantage in the second period, but the hosts defensive resistance stood firm.

With just five minutes left on the clock, West Ham hit back through Asseyi, with the 30-year-old forward lifting an effort over Mary Earps that looped into the net.
United celebrate Rachel Williams's opener in Dagenham.

United began the brighter of the two sides, winning an early corner thanks to a successful high press. Captain Katie Zelem took the set-piece before Rachel Williams headed her effort just over.

Just 30 seconds later, Marc Skinner's side were ahead, with Amber Tysiak dispossessed by Zelem. Our captain played in Williams who raced through before smashing past Mackenzie Arnold to open the scoring in Dagenham, netting the 50th goal of her WSL career in the process.

Katrina-Lee Gorry's effort from 25 yards out forced a brilliantly diving save from Mary Earps as the hosts looked to instantly respond. Luckily, our no.27's cat-like reflexes were more than up to scratch.

The Red's high press was proving particularly fruitful as the first half edged on, with Hayley Ladd trying her luck from distance. Arnold, however, managed to save easily.

As we approached the half-time interval, a deep cross from Hannah Blundell was met perfectly by Williams in the air, who forced a wonderful stop from Arnold to keep at our advantage at just one.

Another slick move involving several United players then followed, with the ball falling kindly to Millie Turner but she unfortunately smashed the ball over the bar to mark the final action of the first 45 minutes.

United's quest to double our lead continued as the second half began, with a corner from Zelem met by Nikita Parris. The inform Red couldn't steer her effort goalwards and looped over the bar.

Millie Turner was then forced off through injury as we reached the hour mark, causing another defensive headache with injuries piling up as of late. Replaced by Gemma Evans, Skinner also opted to introduce Lucia Garcia and Lisa Naalsund at the same junction.

Garcia's introduction brought fresh impetus to United's attack, as she teed up Zelem to try her luck from distance, which in turn flew wide of the mark.

As the final fifteen minutes approached, the Hammers continued to threaten and went close through Viviane Asseyi. Gorry's initial strike sat up nicely for the 30-year-old to take aim, but couldn't steer her shot on target.

Asseyi was proving a handful as we approached the final knockings, twisting and turning inside the area to get yet another effort on goal away, but again failed to trouble Earps.

A mazy run from Garcia over on the right presented another half-chance for the Reds. The Spaniard seemed to rush her effort in the end and thus couldn't fully connect.

Rehanne Skinner's side grabbed a late equaliser with just five minutes of normal time remaining, as Asseyi finally made her attacking prowess count, lofting a strike over Earps from the edge of the area to level the scoring.

The Reds huffed and puffed as we reached added time, with Williams missing from close range in a gilt-edged chance.
Ella Toone drives forward with the ball for United in the capital.

Earps; Blundell, Turner (Evans, 59), Le Tissier, Galton; Ladd (Naalsund, 59), Zelem; Malard (Garcia, 59), Toone, Parris; Williams.

Subs not used: Tullis-Joyce, Aherne, Guerrero, Mannion.

Williams 4.

West Ham: Arnold; Cissoko, Tysiak, Denton (Cooke, 72), Shimizu, Hayashi, Gorry (Bergman-Lundin, 90+4), Smith; Assey, Ueki, Ziu (Snerle, 57).

Subs not used: O'Hanlon, Walsh, Ademiluyi, Harries, Mewis.

Goals: Asseyi 85.

Booked: Snerle.