The Hammers eventually went down 2-1, but a spirited performance from the reigning seventh-placed Women's Super League side was capped off by a solid Galabadaarachchi debut.

The Australian born forward, of Sri Lankan origin, has a long and storied history in the UK, having had trials and brief spells with Manchester United and Manchester City earlier in her career.

But after doing the hard yards through the Australian youth system, it finally appears the 18-year-old may have found the right place and, given the rapid rise of English women's football, the right time.

West Ham have suffered from a lack of goals, conceding 12 more than they scored last season on their way to a dispiriting home record, which saw the London club finish well off the pace of Reading, Birmingham and Bristol City.

Galabadaarachchi looked to make an instant impact in that regard, her crossing and impressive array of one-touch passes drawing significant praise.

While the familiar sights of Rush Green may have proven uninspiring for West Ham last season, they looked much more at home with Galabadaarachchi on the park.

The Aussie combined well with her teammates throughout and was within a whisker of scoring the equaliser late in the match, before her eventual withdrawal on the 88th minute.