Manchester City beat West Ham to win Women’s FA Cup
Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp scored at Wembley.
Manchester City claimed their second trophy of the season as they defeated West Ham 3-0 in the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley.
Keira Walsh opened the scoring in the 52nd minute with a shot that caught out goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse.
Fellow England international Georgia Stanway’s low strike made it 2-0 in the 81st minute and substitute Lauren Hemp added a third with two minutes of normal time remaining.
It was a comfortable victory in the end for City as they won the cup for the second time, although West Ham went close to going in front in the first half when Jane Ross, playing against her old club, saw her header well saved by Karen Bardsley.
City had already lifted the Continental League Cup this term, and while they have fallen short in the Women’s Super League title race, with Arsenal being crowned champions, Nick Cushing’s side can complete the season unbeaten domestically when they face the Gunners away next week.
It was a fine achievement for the Hammers to have reached the final – the first time the club have done so – with them having only become a professional outfit last summer.
In the early stages Nikita Parris took the ball into West Ham’s box only to be thwarted by a wonderful tackle by their captain captain Gilly Flaherty, and City had little joy in attack throughout the first half.
West Ham, meanwhile, were showing no sign of being overawed by the occasion and almost grabbed the lead just before the half-hour mark when ex-City striker Ross’ header was kept out by a superb Bardsley save.
They subsequently had a penalty shout turned down when Alisha Lehmann was tackled by Jill Scott before City threatened towards the end of the half, with Scott’s effort being blocked by Claire Rafferty and Parris curling off-target.
There was further pressure from City as the second half got under way and after Caroline Weir blazed into the stand, Walsh sent a shot wide.
Moments later, the midfielder fired City ahead, collecting the ball from Scott, cutting past Kate Longhurst and striking it from almost 30 yards out. The ball swerved and bounced on its way towards goal before beating Moorhouse, but it appeared the goalkeeper should have done better.
Moorhouse then did well to push a Parris strike wide before Lehmann spurned a good opportunity at the other end, sending a shot into Bardsley’s arms.
City went back on the attack and Moorhouse blocked a Weir effort with a leg and Stanway shot wide.
Stanway, the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year, then effectively wrapped things up as her right-foot effort found the bottom corner.
And Hemp subsequently made it 3-0 as she ran on to a long ball and guided it past the outrushing Moorhouse in fine style. Hemp almost added a second soon after but was denied by the post.