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Cushing “proud” as City win the FA Cup, Beard praises West Ham’s progression

Manchester City Women’s boss Nick Cushing praised his players for winning the FA Cup on Saturday, but admitted that they had been given a fright by West Ham United.

The Hammers created the better chances in the first half, but City took charge after the break and secured the victory with three unanswered goals.

The result means City have completed the domestic cup double following their success in the League Cup Final against Chelsea earlier in the season.

Cushing was happy with his team’s second half performance, but paid tribute to West Ham for their efforts.

“West Ham were excellent, but I expected them to be good, play on the counter-attack and cause us problems,” he said.

“I thought we were just a little bit emotional (in the first half). The occasion affected our offensive play.

“We asked the players to just settle down, play logically and be controlled. In the second half they looked comfortable.

“I’m so proud of the players. I hope they will go now and spend so much time with their family.

“They’ve put in so much effort to make this team successful again, they deserve everything they get.”

West Ham created the best chance in the first half, with Jane Ross’ header forcing City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley into a smart save.

The Hammers also had a penalty appeal turned down as Alisha Lehmann went down in the box, but the officials ruled that Jill Scott had not made contact with the Swiss forward.

The London club were playing in their first FA Cup Final after stepping up to the top level of women’s football last summer.

Manager Matt Beard says that despite the defeat his team can be proud of their acheivements this season.

“It was a game of two halves, wasn’t it?” he said. “We created the better chances in the first half.

“The first goal changes the game. When you go behind against Manchester City, they’re a very good team, and they deserved to win it on their second half performance.

“But when we walked around at the end, with the fans, and you look at what we’ve created in such a short space of time as a club, this team is only going to get better and our fanbase is only going to grow.

“It’s been really tough but, to be here, speaks volumes for what we’re trying to do.

“We have a lot of young players who will learn from this and become better players because of it.”

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