‘It’s been a good start to the season but now they need to kick on’

Milly Thomson reflects on the Women’s early form and hopes they can use November as a springboard

General view at the West Ham United v Manchester City EPL match, at the London Stadium, London, UK on 16th September, 2023.

The West Ham Women have started their season with two wins, a draw and two loses in their first five games, which at the start of the season they would have been very happy with. The two wins came against Brighton and Hove Albion in the league and Charlton Athletic in the Continental Cup. The win against Charlton Athletic was also a home return for West Ham fan and legend Kate Longhurst who left in the summer.

Our new striker Riko Ueki started her campaign by scoring the second goal in our 2-0 away win over Brighton, by getting her head on a cross from Lisa Evans in the 51st minute to seal the win. Her second goal of the campaign came against Liverpool in our home fixture where she found the equaliser in the 95th minute to share the points.

Last season our main struggle was getting our forward line scoring but so far adding Ueki to it, we have seemed to have created and taken a lot more of our chance with her already scoring two goals in our opening games. Another player who is in the best form of their career is our goalkeeper and captain, Mackenzie Arnold.

So far in this campaign she has saved a Chloe Kelly penalty, made a fingertip save very late on to keep the score against Liverpool only 1-0 and an away clean sheet against Brighton. Also with the way she commands her box, it has allowed our defence to be more relaxed and you can tell how well she has improved with only a small amount of goals going past her.

We sit eighth in the league after our first four games but have already played the reigning champions, Chelsea at Kingsmeadow and an in-form Manchester City at home, who we have continuously struggled against. After having these games out the way now, November looks like it will be a positive month. We are set to take on Bristol City after the international break.

They are the newly promoted side and haven’t managed to get any points yet, this puts them bottom of the WSL. This is a game that we will expect to receive the three points, especially with how well we have started against the bigger teams in the league. Our remaining games in November are at home to Aston Villa and away to Manchester United and Arsenal.

We should be looking for at least four points and another win in the Continental League Cup against Brighton and Hove Albion, which will set us up nicely for the Christmas period. Being the home side against the Villains, I hope we can bring home the three points, our home record hasn’t always been the best but with the performances we have put in as of late and the fans being right behind us, I see this game being a cracker and hopefully we can be on the right end of the result. It will also be a homecoming for ex West Ham player, Lucy Parker.

I can see us making it awkward for Manchester United and Arsenal when we visit them. They are both in very good form but with our full strength team, hopefully we will get at least a point to carry on our good form.

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