There’s no doubt about the impressive growth of the women’s game in recent years, and it was typified in the FA Cup final, which saw Manchester City taking on underdogs West Ham in front of a huge crowd at Wembley Stadium. Lapping up the atmosphere on the bank holiday weekend, we took our seats for the match, which was the latest in our ‘Framed’ series.

Aiming for a domestic cup double after narrowly missing out on the league title, Manchester City came into the game as hot favourites. They had already won the Continental League Cup this term and were, at the time, unbeaten domestically. By contrast, the Hammers reached the final in this, their first year as a professional side, less than a year after making the move from the third division following their successful top-tier licence application last summer. They would not have found any inspiration from their two previous meetings with City though, having lost 7-1 and 3-1 in the league.


With well over 43,000 fans in attendance, a number that only just fell short of fell just short of last season's competition record of 45, 423, Wembley was primed and ready. It was a cagey start to the game, with both teams understandably nervous in their endeavours. Despite the odds it was West Ham who got on the front foot first, much to the joy of the large following within the stadium. A Jane Ross header forcing England keeper Karen Bardsley into a decent save for the standout moment of the first half.

The second half was a different story though, with City asserting their dominance throughout. Keira Walsh’s bouncing drive caught Anna Moorhouse out shortly after the restart, before late goals from Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp rounded off the win, securing City’s sixth major trophy. Deserved champions, City won the cup without conceding a single goal throughout the competition. 


With the World Cup just around the corner, the sight of England captain Steph Houghton lifting a trophy high above her head is one that fans of both City and West Ham, along with the rest of the country, will want to see replicated again in the very near future as the women’s game continues to move from strength to strength.

Photography by Ross Cooke for SoccerBible.