‘Beating Spurs on penalties was simply as good as it gets’

West Ham ladies reflect on a season of progress on and off the pitch

After an impressive first season in charge of the West Ham Ladies for Julian Dicks, Blowing Bubbles caught up with captain Stacey Little, Danica Revell, and Katie Bottom as well as media officer Tommy Wathen to reflect on their campaign.

Goal of the season

SL: My vote goes to Katie Bottom and her goal against Exeter in the cup. It was good build up play before the goal, we were knocking the ball around with one and two touches. The ball then gets set back to Kate from just inside the box and she unleashes this left foot strike which flies across goal into the top corner.

DR: For me, it has to be Emma Sherwood’s goal against Lewes. I played a free kick in, Vicky Kinsman headed it back out and Emma volleyed the ball from about 35 yards with her left foot and it hit the back of the net. Top corner. The ‘keeper got nowhere near it.

KB: I agree with Danica and my vote goes to Emma Sherwood for her goal against Lewes in the league in April. It was a great goal.

TW: There are plenty of contenders that come to mind. My winner though isn’t a typical long range shot that leaves the opposition keeper stumbled, it’s a last minute winner. I was going to say Emma Sherwood’s second away to Cardiff on Easter Sunday or even Katie Bottom’s goal in the Development Squad win away to Chichester but my winner has to be Kelley Blanchflower’s last minute header on the opening day of the season away to Queens Park Rangers. The girls came from behind after conceding a sloppy goal and drew themselves level through Lindsey Morgan’s header, before Kelley came from nowhere in the last few seconds to start the season with a bang. Our winner. Emma Sherwood v Lewes

Best Team Performance of the season

SL: For me it’s got to be one of our away performances against Tottenham in either the league or cup. They were physical games but we fought hard for each other, played good football in both games, never gave up and got the result we wanted in both fixtures.

DR: Cardiff away has to be the best performance for me. We played the ball around much better in the first half compared to the second but the work rate from each player was the best I saw all season. Everyone was supporting each other, dropping in, tracking back and most of all, working hard and communicating with each other.

KB: My vote goes to our cup game against Tottenham in the opening games of the season. It finished 4-4 and went onto to win the game on penalties. We showed great character and determination. Had we been in a similar game the season before, I believe we would have gone down and lost that game.

TW: Another category where there could be a number of winners. Mine though was the Capital Women’s Cup first round win on penalties away to Tottenham after drawing 4-4 after extra time. Games like that are special but not ones that you want to go through too often. We went ahead plenty of times but wasted possession and were punished. However, the girls never let their heads drop and definitely deserved their place in the next round.

Our winner: West Ham Ladies v Spurs in the Capital Women’s Cup first round

Best Individual Performance of the Season

SL: I’m torn between Emma Sherwood and Lily Mellors in the 5-1 home win against Gillingham. They both scored two goals each in this game and it was the way they took their chances that sticks in my mind the most.

DR: Best individual performance, for me, has to go to Kerry Stimson this season. She has worked great down both flanks. She has been played either side and she may not be left footed but it doesn’t show. I cannot fault her work rate. The amount of effort and commitment she puts in games and training doesn’t go unnoticed. In games she gives it her all and her timing with challenges are perfect. She left a couple of seasons ago and has now rejoined us and to me, has had a big impact on the back four. Not just with her performance, but she also has been very vocal and given great instruction and encouragement.

TW: For this one, I’m automatically drawn into thinking about the players that perhaps scored a few goals in a single game or were a rock at the back that gave us a stable base for pushing forward and earning points. Kelley Blanchflower’s four goals in the Capital Women’s Cup away to Haringey was good to watch, as was Emma Sherwood’s brace away to Cardiff and Lily Mellors scored two great goals at home to Gillingham. At the back, Stacey Little covered for quite a while in defence alongside Danica Revell and if it were a partnership award, I think those two would be near the top of the list. I think for this one I’m going to say that Emma Sherwood’s performance away to Cardiff.

Our winner: Emma Sherwood’s against Cardiff on Easter Sunday

Best Goal Celebration of the Season

SL: Easy. Our first game of the season against QPR. We had dominated all game but it was 1-1 heading towards the final whistle. Kell [Blanchflower] got a late goal to win it 2-1 and you could see how much it meant to everyone to get that first win.

DR: My favourite goal celebration, like Stace, would have to be first game of the season when Kelley scored a late last minute winner against QPR. With it being our first game, I just remember the entire team going mad with celebration and trying to catch Kelly to celebrate the goal and win for us.

KB: For me, this is a tough one because we don’t really have any celebrations! Personally I’ll just say after scoring my only goal of the season and still being in shock turning round to see all the girls being there – My face must have been a picture.

TW: Simple answer for me! Last year’s winner of this award was Danica Revell after scoring the winning penalty in the cup and this year, I’m saying that Danica jumping and punching the air after scoring the winning goal in the first round of the Capital Women’s Cup at Spurs was a moment to remember. I must mention though that there are two celebrations that came a close second and third. Stacey and the team celebrating after the skipper headed in the winner away to Lewes was a good celebration too as was the girls celebrating away to QPR on the opening day of the season.

Our winner: Kelly Blanchflower’s last-minute winner against QPR on the opening day of the season.

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