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Stacey nails down Hammers
 Women's Football News 29 Oct 2012
Stacey nails down Hammers - 29 Oct 2012 - Women's Football NewsYeovil Town 1 West Ham Utd 0
Yeovil Town gained a hard earned three points with a narrow but deserved victory over West Ham United to lift the Glovers into fifth place in the Southern Division table. 
A solitary Stacey Pearson goal right on half time was the difference but, having had the edge for most of the first eighty minutes, Yeovil had to withstand a spirited Hammers rally to seal their first victory since the opening day of the season.
The first quarter of the gme was a cagey affair with defences dominating. It was Yeovil who were the first side to threaten a breakthrough when a Nadine Grogan cross was flicked on for Laura Bray to fire a powerful shot just over Toni-Anne Wayne's bar on 24 minutes. Kayleigh Sage was just wide from 18 yards before Wayne made a fine save to turn away a shot bound for the bottom corner.
West Ham did not threaten till the 36th minute when Zoe Lipley-Hinton drifted past two tackles and rounded Yeovil keeper Rachel Simkin but could not force the ball home from a tight angle. The home side were soon on the front foot again with Bray finding space and time on the right edge of the area twice in three minutes. On both occasions she picked out team mates with precise crosses beyond the far post, the first saw a kneeling Jade Radburn head over from six yards but the second chance was taken as Pearson cleverly adjusted herself to guide a diving header wide of Wayne for a deserved interval lead.
West Ham needed to offer more threat in attack and they gradually found better rhythm after the break. Yeovil were still pursuing their measured build up play with Bray, Sage and Grace Rapp, first half replacement for the injured Kirsty Whitton, combining effectively. Hammers' Danica Revell found space to fire just over Simkin's goal from distance on 55 minutes but, despite greater possession and several corners, Yeovil were still defending comfortably. The nearest other threat was a miscued defensive header from a corner cleared from close to the Yeovil line by Nadine Grogan.
Yeovil sought a vital second goal to give themselves breathing space and again found some momentum around the 80 minute mark. A series of attacks were seen off at full stretch but eventually Bray again found space to place a cross on the head of Jade Radburn. The midfielder's diving header and follow up were kept out by a brilliant double save by Wayne on 82 minutes.
Inspired by this, West Ham poured forward and finally found the urgency to really test the Yeovil defence and salvage a point. Simkin was penalised on the edge of her area after a collision with Lindsey Morgan and from the free kick the ball flew dangerously around the box. A corner then flew beyond the far post where Rosey Sullivan seemed to have squeezed in a header until Simkin turned it away at full stretch. Keeper Wayne came up for the next corner and attempted an overhead kick from a half clearance but again the ball pinballed around the area and was cleared.
Finally, West Ham ran out of time and Yeovil could celebrate a victory which had been earned through a really solid team performance. What was particularly impressive was the calm and measured play under pressure from every player, allowing the Glovers to use the width of the pitch in order to build attacks. Meanwhile, the defence did an excellent job of protecting a clean sheet, under severe examination in the final minutes.
Yeovil will surely have gained confidence from this performance against a committed and well organised side who went very close to promotion last season and will surely challenge at the upper end of the table again.
Yeovil Town: Rachel Simkin, Nadine Grogan, Rachael Edwards, Charlotte Hannam, Emma Brazell, Laura Wensley, Jade Radburn, Kayleigh Sage, Kirsty Whitton, Laura Bray, Stacey Pearson. Sub: Grace Rapp.

West Ham Utd: Toni-Anne Wayne, Vicky King, Jessica Barling, Rosey Sullivan, Stacey Little, Danica Revell, Lindsey Morgan, Becky Merritt, Zoe Lipley-Hinton, Samantha Rowland, April Bowers. Subs: Katie Bottom, Kerry-Anne Stimson.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)

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