Manchester City have won the SSE Women’s FA Cup for a second time after seeing off the threat of West Ham United in the final at Wembley.
Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp got the goals in the second half as City won the trophy for a second time in just three years courtesy of a 3-0 victory.
Both sides started with plenty of attacking impetus with Jane Ross latching onto a looped ball into the box before making a poor decision which led to a goal kick and Nikita Parris being denied a shot on goal by some last-ditch defending at the other end.
The best chance of the half came just before the half-hour mark when a dangerous cross from the right found the head of West Ham United striker Ross but her effort was superbly kept out of the net by Karen Bardsley.
There were very few nerves being shown by Matt Beard’s side and they appealed for a penalty kick when Jill Scott lunged in late on Alisha Lehmann, although the referee opted against giving a spot kick with no contact seemingly made.
Manchester City pushed forward in search of the opening goal towards the end of the half but West Ham United keeper Anna Moorhouse remained largely untroubled as the two sides went into the break in a stalemate.
Nick Cushing’s City side came out brighter for the second half and both Caroline Weir and Walsh fired early efforts just wide of the target.
City were to take the lead in their next attack when Walsh took aim from 20 yards and the ball seemed to take a deflection before bouncing awkwardly for Moorhouse on its way into the bottom corner of the net.
Parris was put clear through on goal with 20 minutes remaining but was denied by a wonderful save by Moorhouse who made herself look big before a quick break from West Ham United saw Alisha Lehmann fail to take advantage as she directed a shot straight at Bardsley.
There were plenty more big chances to come with Stanway twice failing to score, first being denied by the leg of Moorhouse before sending a header wide of goal when completely unmarked.
City finally got the decisive second goal when Stanway got a low shot away which squirmed into the bottom corner of Moorhouse’s net.
The same player then wasted a great chance to make it 3-0 when she fired straight at Moorhouse from six yards before City did grab a third when substitute Hemp raced away to beat Moorhouse to a long ball and she directed her effort into an unguarded net.
Hemp was unlucky not to grab her second and City’s fourth in injury time when her effort struck the post but it didn’t matter one bit as Cushing’s side went on to win the match 3-0.