Manchester City have been pressured to accept a second-placed end in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League as a 1-0 closing day victory at West Ham wasn’t sufficient to leapfrog Chelsea on the summit.
Ellen White’s Seventy fifth-minute strike separated the perimeters in Dagenham and the scoreline might have been extra complete have been it not for Hammers goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, who brilliantly saved out each Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle from the spot.
City additionally hit the woodwork thrice however Chelsea’s convincing 5-0 victory over Reading noticed the Blues change into champions for the second successive season and made City’s victory tutorial in the title race.
Gareth Taylor’s facet started the day understanding they wanted to win to face any likelihood of reeling in the leaders and began on the entrance foot, Mewis signalling their intent with a 20-yard effort inside two minutes which was comfortably held by Arnold.
The Australian was referred to as into motion once more on 11 minutes to maintain out Janine Beckie from point-blank vary when the striker maybe might have squared to White.
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Having survived the early spell of stress, the hosts got here shut themselves in spectacular trend by way of Hawa Cissoko, whose acrobatic volley dropped simply huge halfway by way of the primary half after a transfer began by a positive run by the centre-half.
City went straight again on the assault and have been inches away from breaking the impasse when Caroline Weir’s left-footed drive got here again off the crossbar.
Beckie headed huge and Weir had a close-range effort scrambled away by a mix of Arnold and Gilly Flaherty on the road because the guests continued to threaten.
They have been handed an awesome likelihood to open the scoring six minutes earlier than the break when Arnold introduced down White however the goalkeeper redeemed herself, diving to her proper to disclaim Mewis from 12 yards.
The second half began in a lot the identical vein and City have been denied by the woodwork twice in a matter of seconds in the 53rd minute as Esme Morgan and Mewis every noticed headers hit the bar.
Lavelle was launched on the hour mark to assist City’s seek for a breakthrough and he or she shortly pounced on a poor clearance by Arnold to arrange Weir, just for the Scottish worldwide to see her shot blocked.
But West Ham’s courageous resistance was damaged quarter-hour from time when Cissoko had her pocket picked by Lucy Bronze down City’s proper and White was readily available to steer house the cross for her tenth WSL objective of the season.
Seven minutes later, Bronze obtained the higher of Cissoko once more and was introduced down inside the realm – however a change in penalty taker didn’t alter the end result as Arnold flew to her proper as soon as extra to maintain out Lavelle.
The hosts hardly ever threatened an equaliser and finish the season ninth, whereas the 2 sides will meet once more subsequent weekend in the fifth spherical of the Women’s FA Cup.
West Ham: Arnold, Flaherty, Fisk, Cissoko, Pacheco, Brynjarsdottir, Barker (Kiernan 73), Vetterlein (Mustafa 81), Dali, Longhurst, Denton. Unused subs: Brosnan.
Referee: Kirsty Dowle.
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