The important thing issue West Ham Girls should deal with, regardless of climbing off the underside of the WSL desk


A last minute equalizer denied West Ham Women valuable three points in their fight to avoid the fall on Wednesday night, but boss Olli Harder is more concerned about the sluggish starts that are becoming a “psychological hump” for his team.

Emily Murphy’s eight-minute goal gave Birmingham City an early advantage at Dagenham. For the third time in the last four WSL games, the Hammers were behind within the first ten minutes.

Harder’s side struggled back to lead through goals from Emily van Egmond and Katerina Svitkova in the second half, but Ruby Mace provided a late stab in the tail and equalized the last kick of the game.

“We started very well, but an early goal will put you back in your boots,” said Harder.

“It’s a psychological hump that we have to overcome. The only positive thing about the first half is that we stayed in the game.

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“The reaction in the second half is exactly what you want as a manager, but unfortunately we couldn’t hold out in the end.”

The point was enough to lift the hosts off the foot of the table and overtake Bristol City on goal difference after being beaten 3-0 by the Manchester City title hunt.

But the win would have put Harder’s team in ninth place, and he couldn’t hide his disappointment with the late leveler who sparked cheering celebrations among the visiting players and staff.

“They got one in the end, and if it’s the other way around, that’s how we would celebrate – that’s why you play football,” he said.

“You have to play to the end. We played 94 (minutes) today when we had to play 95. But it’s a big point for us in terms of the bigger picture and it’s important that we keep getting points.”

“There were decent patches in the first half. We obviously reacted well and scored a goal in the second half and the second was excellent. “

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