WSL: Bristol secures first win of the season against West Ham

Viviane Asseyi of West Ham United scores.
Viviane Asseyi of West Ham United scores the team's first goal from the penalty spot against Bristol City at Chigwell Construction Stadium on November 05, 2023. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

With both sides sitting in the bottom half of the table, West Ham welcomed Bristol to the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

The two clubs last met back in February 2021, with the meeting ending in a 1-1 draw. Since that meeting, significant changes have occurred for both teams — adding extra intrigue to this fixture.

Starting XIs

West Ham

Arnold; Smith, Shimizu, Evans, Ueki, Atkinson, Denton, Hayashi, Asseyi, Cooke, Cissoko

Bristol

Marckese; Powell, Aspin, Connolly, Layzell, Napier, Furness, Rodgers, Morgan, Thestrup, Jones

How it went

A good early start from the visitors saw Mackenzie Arnold forced into a save just eight minutes into the tie. More chances came for both teams with Arnold and Kaylan Marckese both being called into action. The 26th minute saw West Ham awarded a penalty following a handball in the area. Viviane Asseyi stepped up to take the spot kick. The No. 20 converted her effort to give the Hammers the lead.

Just six minutes later, the visitors had found an equaliser. Amalie Thestrup got her head to a perfectly weighted cross from Rachel Furness, nodding the ball home beyond Arnold’s reach. Barely four minutes later, Lauren Smith’s side doubled their lead. A well-worked team play allowed Jamie-Lee Napier to cross the ball into the box. The Hammers’ keeper saved Thestrup’s initial overhead cross, but Ella Powell was there to follow up on the rebound.

An injury-time goal from Riko Ueki was enough to send the two sides level at the break. The Japanese international whipped the ball across the area to beat Marckese at her far post.

Embed from Getty Images

Shortly after the break, Brooke Aspin got the visitors back into the lead. Getting her head to Megan Connolly’s free-kick, the 18-year-old put her side well on the way to claiming their first points of the season. Thestrup appeared to have got her second of the afternoon, however, the No. 17’s effort was quickly ruled offside.

Both sides had good chances throughout the final phase of the game, although neither was able to add to the scoreline. The win gave Bristol their first points of the season following four consecutive defeats. Going ahead of Aston Villa, Smith’s side finally moved from the foot of the table. West Ham remain in eighth having secured just one win from their opening five games.

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