WSL: Leicester hold West Ham to 1-1 draw

Sam Tierney celebrates with Aimee Palmer after scoring the team's second goal during the Barclays Women's Super League match between Chelsea and Leicester City
Sam Tierney celebrates with Aimee Palmer after scoring the team's second goal during the Barclays Women's Super League match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Kingsmeadow on November 26, 2023 (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Leicester City were unable to break their six-game winless streak in their latest Women’s Super League outing against West Ham United. The Foxes travelled to Dagenham on Sunday and were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against their close table rivals.

Riko Ueki took the lead early on but her effort was cancelled out by Sophie Howard later in the first half. Despite enjoying most of the possession, Leicester couldn’t beat an inspired Mackenzie Arnold and the spoils were shared.

Starting XIs

West Ham

Arnold; Smith, Shimizu, Tysiak, Snerle, Ueki, Ziu, Denton, Hayashi, Asseyi, Cissoko

Leicester City

Leitzig; Tierney, Howard, Rantala, Petermann, Cayman, Ale, Takarada, Thibaud, Goodwin, Momiki

How it went

Both teams came out of the blocks quickly in this bottom-of-the-table clash, and West Ham took an early lead. Ueki finished with a low drive beyond Janina Leitzig, latching onto a through ball by Honoka Hayashi. The Irons then had two more chances in quick succession, both through striker Vivienne Asseyi. The first was a volley that Leitzig smothered, and the second came via a right-footed curler from the edge of the box that couldn’t bend enough to beat the German.

Leicester found an equaliser in the 36th minute. Howard nodded home a powerful header from a Jutta Rantala corner, sneaking it between the front post and Arnold for her first of the season.

Embed from Getty Images

A quiet second half

The referee caused the match to stop-start, with 25 fouls given in total. With little at stake but pride, it didn’t feel like it warranted that much referee intervention. Leicester captain Sam Tierney, who recently earned her UEFA B coaching badge, made it clear she disagreed with a few decisions.

The Japanese contingent at Leicester have settled well. Soari Takarada’s volley from a Missy O’Brien knock down was expertly parried to safety by Arnold. Yuka Momiki also looked a constant threat to the home side but couldn’t turn in a chance from six yards as again, Arnold was there to deny the Leicester forward.

The latter stages of the match saw both sides with chances to steal the points. A few quick counter-attacks by West Ham were brilliantly tidied up by second half substitute CJ Bott.

Embed from Getty Images

Leicester piled on the pressure but couldn’t get striker Lena Petermann on the ball to have a clear opportunity, something they’ll need to work on to score more goals in the future. The match ended 1-1 after a frantic but toothless second half.

Coming up next

The result leaves Leicester 10th in the WSL table, three points ahead of West Ham in 11th. The final games of the season will see Leicester host Liverpool, and West Ham travel to Tottenham Hotspur.

MORE from Her Football Hub: