West Ham Women manager Olli Harder cut a frustrated figure as his side failed to break down relegation rivals Aston Villa on Tuesday night, with the basement battle ending 0-0.
The Hammers’ home woes continued at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, with the wait for a league home stretching all the way back to February 2020 after their latest stalemate.
That form on their own turf has contributed to their battle to stay in the division this year, as they sit two points above the Barclays FA Women’s Super League drop zone with just four matches remaining.
And Harder was irked by the Villans’ defensive game plan, as they kept the hosts at bay throughout the 90 minutes.
“We had the majority of the big chances today so not much went wrong today and it was just a difficult evening – the team [Aston Villa] came up not to play football.
“We were trying to take the initiative so there is onus on us to win the game as they were not here to win it.
“When we have the onus at the second half, we tend to leave some space and we can get caught which we almost did because we were the ones who actually wanted to win the match today.”
Attacking intentions were at a premium in the first 45 minutes from either side, with Katerina Svitkova and Gilly Flaherty coming closes for the hosts.
The Hammers had much the better of play after the break, but still couldn’t find the breakthrough, with Svitkova kept out once again, as well as Cecilie Redisch.
Kenza Dali also tried her luck in the closing stages, but Lisa Weiss in the visiting goal was always comfortable in dealing with the efforts, as the Villans pulled themselves off the bottom of the FA WSL table.
Victories over Chichester United in the Women’s FA Cup and Reading in the league make it three matches without defeat for the Hammers.
But after Svitkova was forced off late in the game, Harder may be without a key performer in crucial upcoming matches.
“I give credit to all of my defenders. My back three and my goalkeeper did a fantastic job – keeping three clean sheets in a row,” Harder said.
“I think that was the first time West Ham did that this season so that is a real big positive for us but it just didn’t happen in front of goal today.
“With the size of our squad and the unlucky injury rate we are having at the moment, Katerina Svitkova’s injury is a massive blow for us.
“She played really well tonight but she’s been playing well since I joined the club, playing in a multitude of positions so hopefully it’s nothing too serious.”
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