Match Preview

West Ham Ladies Look To End Momentous Season On High At Home To QPR

In the final competitive fixture involving any West Ham United team of the 2017/2018 season, West Ham Ladies play host to Queens Park Rangers Ladies in what promises to be an intriguing FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division season-ending clash.

The Hammers go into the affair off the back of their first defeat of any description of 2018, losing out at home to Lewes at the end of April, while the O’s were also bested the last time they took to the field, to the tune of 4-1 away at Coventry United, the hosts are the clear favourites for this one.

When?

The eagerly-anticipated season-finale is scheduled to kick-off at 2 PM BST tomorrow afternoon (Sunday 20 May 2018), there will be no live television or radio coverage being broadcasted in the United Kingdom.

However, you can head over to @WestHamMatters_ on Twitter where you will be able to keep up to date with all the action as we bring you build-up, updates and reaction from Romford.

Where?

West Ham’s Rush Green training ground will be the host of the matchup, the usual home ground of the Irons, when ladies matches and youth matches aren’t being played in the cosy stadium, it is the training base of the men’s first-team.

The Hammers will be hosting a fun day to celebrate the girls’ double cup winning achievements this season, which will centre around the game, tickets are free for Season Ticket Holders and Claret Members, priced at free for children and £3 for adults, otherwise.

Build Up:

In the build-up to the encounter, young West Ham Ladies defender Hannah Wheeler spoke to the club’s official website WHUFC.com about her team’s season, losing that impressive 13-game unbeaten run and wanting to finish the campaign in style.

“It hurt to lose that unbeaten run, the atmosphere after the game was very unpleasant. Everyone felt so disappointed, and for me, disappointment is the worst feeling. Up until that Lewes game, we had worked really hard. I really do believe we should have won but it was our fault that we didn’t.

“I feel though that we will bounce back this weekend. We’re training hard, everyone is putting in everything they’ve got, so there’s no reason we can’t go out on Sunday and get three points to end the campaign.

“That defeat is in the past now and we leave it there. It’s wiped, we get a clean slate, and we go again! That first training session after Lewes, we all knew we had to put our best foot forward and show why we deserved to be in the squad for the last game of the season.

“You cannot underestimate QPR at all. When we played them away they did have players missing from their team.  They’ve scored some big goals and got some good results this season. We know they hold a threat and we cannot afford to be complacent.

“If we can beat QPR it still equates to an amazing 2018, despite the last result. We want to go out with a bang. We have to work hard for each other and prove what we’re about. We have to show our run in 2018 wasn’t a fluke and we are able to perform at the best level.

“We know a lot of people are coming down for the season finale and the activities before the game. Families and friends are all going to be with us for the game, which will be amazing.

“We’ve got to perform and give everyone a reason to cheer and be happy for the final match of the season. We can’t wait to welcome everyone down for the game.”

Player To Watch:

There will be plenty of players on either team that have the capabilities to cause the opponents plenty of problems and impact the match proudly, but few more so than American Hammers forward Ellie Zoepf.

The prolific goal-scorer has been instrumental in her side almost going unbeaten for the whole of the year so far, playing a huge hand in them lifting both the Isthmian Women’s Cup and the FA WPL Plate.

Her record since signing up from the University of East London’ in November 2017 is a remarkable one, having netted 15 goals in just 17 matches in all competitions.

However, Zoepfl’s biggest achievement in East London so far surely came in April, when she was voted the Inaugural West Ham United Ladies Players’ Player of the Year Award at the club’s Player Awards, her form suggests that she will end her breakthrough season in English football on a high.

Last Meeting:

These two teams have met twice before this term and on both occasions, the side from East London picked up the victory, once in the aforementioned WPL Plate and once in the league.

The first meeting of the two came in October of last year at Rush Green in the Cup, with the hosts taking a step towards glory in the Plate with an emphatic 31 triumph.

On the scoresheet that day was Chloe Burr, Amber Stobbs and Chenise Austin, while QPR’s consolation was scored by Katie Knell, if that win wasn’t cinching enough, when the Hammers travelled to Uxbridge in the Southern Division, they would get into double figures in terms of goals.

Strikes from Stobbs, at the double, Chantelle Mackie, a hat-trick from starlet Kelly Wealthall, a brace from the before-mentioned Zoepfl and solitary Rosie Kmita and Andria Georgiou sealed an astonishing 0-10 win for West Ham, they will go in search of a repeat of that to end the term in style.

League Table Permutations:

Ahead of what will be one of the final outings of the season for both sets of players, we look at how this result could affect the final standings of the WPL Southern Division’s 2017/2018 campaign.

Going into the Romford fixture, which will be QPR’s penultimate encounter and the Irons’ last, the hosts are sitting comfortably in mid-table, eighth with 26 points.

Meanwhile, the outlook isn’t looking so rosy for the visitors as their 11th place finish, second to last position in the division, eight points above rock-bottom Swindon Town and eight points below Cardiff directly above, is secured.

Fortunately for the home side, they still will have something to play for as they are just two points shy of Chichester City in seventh and should other results go their way, will leapfrog the club with three points.

So, now that the Rush Green scene has been well and truly set for a highly-exciting afternoon of WPL Southern Division action, can West Ham give a record-breaking and historic season a fitting end?

Or, will QPR roll into town and spoil the party, going out with a bang after a hugely disappointing campaign? Think you know? Head over to our Twitter page to cast your score predictions and join the pre-match discussion.