A first half headed goal by Dagny Brynjarsdottir was doubled in the final minute by Yui Hasegawa as pressure on manager Gareth Taylor mounts.
After a 5-0 hammering at Arsenal last weekend, City looked like they were back in form as they took Lecicester apart in midweek, knocking the Foes for six at the Academy Stadium. But against West Ham, despite dominating for most of the match, the blues couldn’t find a way through.
City had opportunities in the first half, but were denied by a combination of poor finishing and finding visiting keeper Mackenzie Arnold in fine form. Jess Park cause problems down the right for the Hammers, as did Janine Beckie, playing in a right back role due to the excessive injury list that has mounted over the weeks.
And it was Beckie’s cross in the 10th minute that was met by Lauren Hemp that, on another day, would have hit the back of the net, by the youngster screwed her shot wide.
The PFA Young Player of the Year had a glourious chance to give City the lead. Hemp intercepted Gilly Flaherty’s pass and raced forward. With only the keeper to beat, the youngster rushed her shot from the edge of the box, and the ball was tipped away by Arnold.
It looked like Hemp was caught in two minds, to either go for power or the chip, but in the end, neither came off and the chance went begging.
And the blues were punished for that miss five minutes before the break. A cross from the West Ham right found Brynjarsdottir unmarked at the far post, and she had the simple job of heading past Benameur in the City goal.
City piled on the pressure in the second half, with Caroline Weir being denied by Arnold, and Hemp couldn’t follow up. Ellen White had a goal disallowed for offside, and Taieb was called into action as West Ham went for the second goal, but most of the chances were fallign City’s way. Arnold denied Hemp again, and when she was finally beaten, the post prevented Laura Coombs from equalising.
As City poured forward in search of a point-saving equaliser, defender Demi Stokes made an error that would hit the final nail in City’s coffin.
Her underhit backpass to Taieb was cut out by Hasegawa, who produced a remarkable ship of the retreating City keeper and into the back of the goal, to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
City still tried to get a goal back, but the day belonged to the Hammers, who moved up to fifth in the league, while City, who have now lost three WSL matches, drop to ninth.
What the boss said
Manager Taylor was upbeat and still believed his side can turn things around. “I still believe massively,” said Taylor. “I think I have proved I can bring a brand of football that is exciting to watch but is winning football.
“We are up against it. Everything seems to be going against us. We won’t get help from anywhere else, we have to do it ourselves. I still thought we had enough out there to win it and we didn’t. We are always fighting all the way.”
City travel across town for their next match - a showdown with rivals United on Saturday lunchtime. The reds are six points clear of the blues and sit in fourth place in the league, and City will be eager to avoid a fourth WSL defeat, particularly at the hands of the Stretford reds.
Final Score: Manchester City Women 0-2 West Ham United Women