FA Women’s Premier League
QPR 0, WEST HAM 2
QPR LADIES gifted their West Ham United counterparts all three points during a poor opening spell to the game.
The visitors took the lead after just seven minutes when striker Kelly Blanchflower was allowed to pick the ball up just inside Rangers’ half and drive into the penalty area. She then skipped past three challenges before firing home a powerful effort.
Not learning from their earlier error, the R’s gave away a second and decisive goal just five minutes later.
A long goal kick from West Ham’s goalkeeper was allowed to bounce over the head of the last defender, leaving midfielder Emma Thomas free to run through on goal and smash the ball into the roof of the net.
Rangers very nearly hit back from the kick-off when Sophie Fogarty went on a surging run before hitting a ferocious drive that the ‘keeper did well to parry.
West Ham enjoyed good possession throughout, with QPR counter attacking sporadically.
The R’s had a good opportunity to reduce the deficit on 27 minutes when Chloe Fogarty – who had been the home side’s main threat throughout the half – went on a mazy run down the right before cutting back into the box and producing an effort that was cleared off the goal-line.
Rangers’ best chance of the first half came in the 35th minute. The impressive Chloe Fogarty was again in the thick of the action, sending a defence-splitting cross into the six-yard box that landed at the feet of Kasha Petit who, unmarked three yards from goal, somehow shot wide.
The game was marred by a serious injury minutes before the break when West Ham’s Blanchflower fell awkwardly following a challenge, which resulted in her breaking her collarbone. The second half resumed after a lengthy break, during which the injured player was taken to hospital by ambulance.
It seemed that the injury had an impact on the players. The second half was a much more subdued affair that saw the visitors happy to sit back and protect their lead. Rangers enjoyed much more possession but failed to turn it into goals.
Numerous half chances were created by the hosts but they lacked the quality and composure in front of goal when it counted most.
Late on, a superb counter attack by the Hammers saw QPR ‘keeper Sophie Cheadle called into action when she pulled off a great fingertip save.
Rangers were reduced to ten players in the 80th minute when Petit received a straight red card.
Speaking to www.qpr.co.uk, manager Martino Chevannes said: “I was disappointed in the manner in which we conceded two poor goals so early in the game and, as such, gave ourselves a mountain to climb against a well-organised side.
“The players know that we need to defend better than that and need to ensure that they learn from their mistakes.
“Apart from that, it’s a new squad that’s still gelling. We are gradually getting better game by game. I’m sure it won’t be long before we pick up that vital first win of the season.”
Star Player – Chloe Fogarty – QPR’s player of the match, Fogarty (pictured, above) showed tremendous work-rate and determination that caused the West Ham defence all sorts of problems. She was a constant attacking threat throughout the contest and was at the heart of all of Rangers’ best scoring opportunities.
QPR Ladies: Cheadle, Gover, Sayer, Staples, Naylor, Dempster, Ismael (Giesen 55), S Fogarty, Petit, C Fogarty (O’Leary 65), Meadows.