We began our defence of the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup with a 3-1 win over West Ham United at Meadow Park on Sunday.
The first chance of the game fell to Beth Mead, who wriggled free of her marker and raced through on goal, but just as she shaped to shoot, Mead was denied by a stunning last-ditch tackle inside the box.
Our early pressure continued and less than five minutes later we'd broken the deadlock. Jordan Nobbs fired at goal after some fine hold-up play from Mead, with Katie McCabe on hand to convert the rebound with a wonderful curling effort.
Moments later, Rebecca Spencer rushed off her line to deny Nobbs from close-range, before McCabe fizzed her left-footed effort just wide of the post.
But before West Ham could regroup at the break, Emma Mitchell stormed down the left wing and picked out Mead inside the six-yard box, with the England international leaping high to head the ball into the back of the net.
Just three minutes into the second half, however, Brianna Visalli pulled one back for the visitors. The Hammers fired twice at goal in quick succession, before the midfielder found the bottom right corner with a first-time finish from the edge of the box.
Substitute Vivianne Miedema took to the field on the hour mark and managed to work a number of shots at goal, but it was her hold up play that allowed us to take control of the game and regain possession.
We’d taken the sting out of West Ham's attack and with 10 minutes left to play, McCabe rounded off the scoring with a thumping left-footed strike from the edge of the box, ensuring that we began the 2018/19 season with a win.
We must now turn our attention to our Women's Super League opener against Liverpool on Sunday, September 9.
The game will be held at Meadow Park with kick-off at 2pm (UK time).
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