West Ham hope to continue good run of form as they host Brighton in WSL
West Ham will go into this match full of confidence after beating Ipswich Town last Sunday to book their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. The Hammers will play Manchester City on Sunday 17th April for the right to play in front of a capacity crowd at Wembley Stadium in May.
The draw against Manchester United in their last league match earned the Hammers their 26th point of the WSL season – a club record for a single season.
There was more good news for West Ham as Grace Garrad returned from her long injury lay-off to make the matchday squad for last weekend’s FA Cup quarter final tie.
Olli Harder was able to rotate several first-team players for the Ipswich Town match. As a result, the West Ham squad should feel well-rested ahead of Brighton’s visit to the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Maisy Barker remains unavailable for selection as she continues her recovery from injury.
Olli Harder spoke to whufc.com about Brighton’s visit on Sunday.
"“The game against Brighton will certainly be another tough contest. They have a superb manager in Hope Powell, and I’m sure the game will be a little bit different in comparison to our 3-0 win here in the Continental Tyres League Cup.”"
Hope Powell’s side had a great start to their league campaign, winning six of their first eight matches, but the team couldn’t maintain their good form as they suffered an awful run of results mid-way through their season. The Seagulls lost 10 matches in a row in all competitions and have been playing catch-up ever since.
Despite their disappointing season, Brighton are just two points behind West Ham in the table and would go above the Hammers if they win on Sunday.
Brighton’s Manager, Hope Powell, is one of the most respected figures in the women’s game. As a player, Powell scored 35 goals in 66 appearances for the national team. She is Millwall Lionesses’ all-time top scorer and captained Croydon to a league and cup double in 1996.
Powell became the first ever full-time manager of the England Women’s team in 1998 and held the role for 15 years until she was relieved of her duties in 2013. In addition to her managerial role, Powell oversaw the structure of women’s football in England from the under-15s to the senior team. Powell introduced central contracts for players and laid the foundations for the professional game in the country. Powell improved the perceptions of women’s football and should get a lot of the credit for the way in which the sport’s profile has increased in recent years.
Last match between the two teams
The two teams faced off on the season’s opening day when Brighton won by two goals to nil thanks to goals from Inessa Kaagman and Lee Geum-min. Hawa Cissoko saw red in the first half for the Hammers.
The teams also met in December in the League Cup when West Ham avenged their league defeat with a comprehensive 3-0 win.
Player to watch – Kayleigh Green
Green joined Brighton in 2018 after the expiry of her contract at Yeovil Town. She is Brighton’s top scorer in the league this season.
The Brighton forward’s career is a story of perseverance. She stopped playing football as a 16-year-old and worked a variety of jobs that included shelf-stacking at Morrisons. Green returned to football in 2012 at the age of 24, joining Cardiff City. Green made her debut for Wales that same year and has gone on to make 49 appearances for her country, scoring 11 goals. Before joining Brighton, Green had continued to work full-time alongside her playing career.
How to watch
West Ham United F.C Women vs Brighton and Hove Albion F.C Women
Date: Sunday 27th March
Venue: Chigwell Construction Stadium
Kick-off Time: 15:00 (GMT)
TV: The match has not been selected for live television coverage
Streaming: FA Player