Brighton secured back-to-back Women’s Super League wins for the first time with a hard-fought victory over West Ham United.
After West Ham keeper Mackenzie Arnold tipped Nora Heroum’s effort over, Aileen Whelan reacted first inside the box for the game’s only goal.
Ellie Brazil had a great chance to make the points secure but was denied by Laura Vetterlein’s superb challenge.
Brighton’s victory – their fourth of the season – moves them up to seventh.
But West Ham’s disappointing campaign continues as they suffered a ninth defeat of the season.
Albion, who ended reigning champions Chelsea’s 33-match unbeaten WSL run on Sunday but had not won at home since their opening-day 2-0 success over Birmingham, created the early chances as Inessa Kaagman had a free-kick saved by Arnold and Heroum skewed her shot from inside the box wide.
But the visitors gradually grew into the game as Vetterlein saw her dipping free-kick hit the top of the bar, while she was also denied by Maya Le Tissier’s header off the line, either side of Whelan scoring her second goal in as many games when she netted from close range after West Ham failed to clear from a corner.
Brighton’s half-time lead was the first time they had been ahead at the break this season and they dominated the second half without creating many clear-cut chances, although Megan Connolly’s long-range shot was saved by Arnold.
West Ham rarely threatened throughout – Adriana Leon having their best chance after the interval but her shot was blocked after she cleverly wriggled herself into a dangerous position.
Brighton manager Hope Powell:
“Everyone did their jobs, which meant they didn’t score and we held out for all three points.
“We’ve done a lot of work on being hard to beat and it gives us the best chance of winning – if we stop conceding goals, then we’re in it.
“The players looked a bit tired towards the end of the match after Sunday’s game but they have really responded well, which takes off some of the pressure in that bottom half of the table.”
West Ham manager Olli Harder:
“Our performance was characterised by individuals’ inability to positively contribute in key moments offensively and defensively.
“The application and effort was there again so it’s difficult to criticise, but it’s quality in key moments that determines games and again we had the opportunity to show that quality but we didn’t do that.
“The missed chances and opportunities each game are fine margins and details. We’re still in this position and we’ve got 10 games to put ourselves in a better position than we’re in at the moment.”
- 6Le Tissier
- 12KoivistoBooked at 33mins
- 11HeroumBooked at 62minsSubstituted forBanceat 74′minutes
- 9LeeSubstituted forJarrettat 90′minutes
West Ham Women
- 2Redisch KvammeSubstituted forLeonat 38′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 10SvitkováBooked at 45minsSubstituted forMustafaat 89′minutes
- 25van Egmond
Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion Women 1, West Ham United Women 0.
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion Women 1, West Ham United Women 0.
Adriana Leon (West Ham United Women) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Martha Thomas (West Ham United Women).
Victoria Williams (Brighton and Hove Albion Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Martha Thomas (West Ham United Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion Women. Rianna Jarrett replaces Lee Geum-Min because of an injury.
Substitution, West Ham United Women. Nor Mustafa replaces Katerina Svitková.
Adriana Leon (West Ham United Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Ellie Brazil (Brighton and Hove Albion Women).
Foul by Kate Longhurst (West Ham United Women).
Aileen Whelan (Brighton and Hove Albion Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Hand ball by Ellie Brazil (Brighton and Hove Albion Women).
Attempt missed. Maya Le Tissier (Brighton and Hove Albion Women) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Inessa Kaagman with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion Women. Conceded by Laura Vetterlein.
Attempt blocked. Ellie Brazil (Brighton and Hove Albion Women) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aileen Whelan.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion Women. Inessa Kaagman tries a through ball, but Ellie Brazil is caught offside.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion Women. Libby Bance replaces Nora Heroum.
Attempt missed. Emily van Egmond (West Ham United Women) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, West Ham United Women. Conceded by Ellie Brazil.