Team: Caldwell, Denny, Lopes, Nicholson, Hayes, Layton, Maggs, Engels, Albert, Rackham, Netschova
I met up with Clive Kingham at Acton Town and we set off on the District Line to Upminster Bridge Station.
The West Ham Ladies play at the home of AFC Hornchurch, who also share the stadium with Havering Athletics Club, hence the running track around the perimeter of the pitch.
Admission was just a pound and despite the promise of a programme, none were forthcoming. We made our way to the Clubhouse for a cup of tea and bumped into Ron Hill.
We decided to sit in the elevated area adjacent to the Clubhouse, which had a good view and also provided some comfy chairs. Just before the start, ‘Bubbles’ blared out over the PA.
Rangers got off to a decent start and Elly Maggs squared a good ball into the box, but it ended up clearing the bar.
Whilst at the other end the home side created a good chance when the West Ham player was put through on goal, which concluded with Victoria Caldwell smothering the ball.
West Ham went route one after the R’s had lost possession and although Locke’s shot was hit powerfully it was aimed straight at the Rangers custodian.
Rangers were playing some very neat football resulting in good passing moves. A good example of this nearly resulted in a goal close to the break. Following a superb move, the ball was played to Cherrelle Albert and the effort dipped just over the crossbar. Half-time: 0-0.
The Hammers started brightly after the interval, but the R’s were soon back in the game. Michaela Lopes on the right flank knocked the ball forward to Elly Maggs, who then managed to force a corner. A dangerous cross into the six-yard box came to nothing.
The hosts almost opened the scoring when the Rangers defence tried to clear their lines and the ball ricocheted off a player and narrowly missed the target.
QPR went close after around 70 minutes following a free kick, when the ball was knocked forward by Carrie-Anne Layton, and Juliette Denny’s effort bounced off the stanchion.
A Rangers player went down after being caught late and then hobbled off after receiving treatment. With the prospect of going down to ten players it was apparent that there were no R’s players available on the bench. This was due to recent departures, a number of injuries, Danielle Puddefoot seemingly suspended after picking up another booking the previous week and there was also a simultaneous reserve team fixture.
A Hammers player controlled the ball nicely on her chest to set herself up in the box, but she proceeded to shoot wide.
The hosts then had another very good opportunity to win the game following a corner when a free header ended up just over the bar.
A decent game on a bumpy pitch and the draw left Rangers in ninth position and one point above West Ham. The R’s travel to Cardiff next and their final game is at bottom-placed Plymouth Argyle.