Hammers flex WSL muscles to set up a semi-final with Chelsea

Professional performance sees West Ham sail into the semi-finals

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

West Ham United showed their WSL quality as they progress into the semi-finals of the Continental Cup. They weren’t at their best but managed to take their chances when presented with them.

Durham showed a good account of themselves and proved they could compete at that level. The 3-0 scoreline probably flattered the Hammers but they got the job done and picked up only their second home win of the season.

It was Durham who threatened early on as they began to push further forward after half an hour. Mollie Lambert took aim from the edge of the area but saw it go agonisingly wide.

Minutes later Beth Hepple was at the centre of another Durham chance as she set up Sarah Robson perfectly. But her curling effort was tipped over acrobatically by Mackenzie Arnold.

With five minutes left in the first half, West Ham capitalised from a set-piece and Emily Van Egmond managed to finish from close-range.

Two minutes later, West Ham showed their quality as Adrian Leon raced past the Durham defence and squared to Katerina Svitkova to slot home into an empty net.

A bridge slightly too far for Durham

A quickfire double put the Hammers in a comfortable position despite not playing well. Both sides looked from the same division in the first half but West Ham’s quality shone in the final third as they gave themselves breathing space.

Less than a minute into the second half, Bridget Galloway cut in from the left but her effort was a tame one which fell right into Arnold’s gloves.

On the hour mark, Van Egmond almost killed the game off with her second goal of the game. She looked to wheel away in celebration but Hannah Reid scrambled across her line to tip her header behind the post.

Much still to improve for West Ham

As the game entered the final 15 minutes, Svitkova had a chance to seal the game if she put her shot either side of Reid. The keeper got off her line quickly and made a fine stop to keep Durham in the game.

Haway Cissoko added a third in the 84th through another set-piece as the defender flicked on Van Egmond’s initial header.

It was a humbling defeat for Durham, who got a taste of what they are aiming for at the end of this season with promotion to the WSL if they can overtake Leicester City.

West Ham can now look forward to a semi-final battle with reigning champions Chelsea, which will require the Hammers to significantly build on this victory.

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