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Arsenal Ladies v Notts County Ladies: another great cup win but what an organisational shambles!

 

Arsenal Ladies v Notts County Ladies

Continental Tyres Cup Final Sunday 01 November 2015

The Match Report by Andrew Crawshaw

The Continental Tyres Cup has been in existence for five years and is essentially the replacement for the Ladies League Cup.  The competition is in two phases, the first being a group phase comprising all of the Ladies Teams in the Women’s Super League.  The top eight teams then go into a knock-out phase from which Arsenal and Notts County emerged as finalists.  

This Cup can also be considered as Arsenal’s as we have been in every single final only losing once last year to man City Ladies.  Could we regain ‘Our Trophy’?

This year the final was played in Rotherham at the New York Stadium (capacity 12,021) a new(ish) stadium officially opened by Prince Edward on 12 March 2012.  It has been Rotherham United’s home ground since the start of the 2012/13 season.  Named the New York Stadium after the area of land on which it was built and not for any connection with the somewhat larger New York in America.

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This year the final was played in Rotherham at the New York Stadium (capacity 12,021) a new(ish) stadium officially opened by Prince Edward on 12 March 2012.  It has been Rotherham United’s home ground since the start of the 2012/13 season.  Named the New York Stadium after the area of land on which it was built and not for any connection with the somewhat larger New York in America.

My day started early as I had booked a seat on the official coach leaving the Emirates ground at 09:15, that meant getting to my local station for the 07:40 local train to Highbury and Islington and the 15 minute walk to the ground.  My first time on an official away trip – new experiences are supposed to keep those of us in the retired generation young at heart (or so I’m told)  I’m sure the good doctor will confirm this to be so.

My day started early as I had booked a seat on the official coach leaving the Emirates ground at 09:15, that meant getting to my local station for the 07:40 local train to Highbury and Islington and the 15 minute walk to the ground.  My first time on an official away trip – new experiences are supposed to keep those of us in the retired generation young at heart (or so I’m told)  I’m sure the good doctor will confirm this to be so.

A small coach as there were just 24 of us booked, very comfortable with a mixture of standard side by side seats and blocks of four with a table.  I was first to arrive (I knew I could have caught the next train) and chose a seat on one of the tables of four.  I was warmly greeted by an (un-costumed) Gunnersaurus and over the next 25 minutes or so the other passengers arrived and we set off, we picked up a few more fans at the Gateway Services on the M! and set off northwards on our journey to South Yorkshire.  No stops on the way as Gunnersaurus had to be suited and booted for the pre-game activities outside the ground.  We arrived shortly after 13:00 in warm sunshine, the morning mist having cleared.  My traveling companions occupying the other seats at the table were Rachel, Owen and Marcia all members of the Arsenal Ladies official Fan Club.

 

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I walked back into the town to get a drink (orange juice and lemonade) and something to eat –  Weatherspoon’s roast beef with all of the usual trimmings.  For those of you not in the UK, Weatherspoon’s is one of the largest chains of Pubs that are country wide and serve a range of adequate but not outstanding meals at reasonable prices and without too long to wait before they are served. Nutritionally sound but definitely not gourmet.

Suitably refreshed I walked back to the ground where the kids zone entertainments were in full swing.  Gunnersaurus is in the picture in the distance, you can just pick out his red and white scarf.

With about 40 minutes to go I entered the ground and found my seat, virtually on the half way line and in row 5 so I had an excellent view.  Official attendance was later announced as 5,028 but the ground would have looked fuller on the TV screens as all of the supporters were placed in the half of the ground opposite the director’s boxes where all of the FA ‘big wigs’ were gathered.  Both teams were out doing their warm-up routines.  Interesting to look at the differences between the Ladies, the U21/19s and the Senior teams – all are slightly different.  The ladies back four had their own drill where they practiced coming out and dropping back as a unit which I haven’t seen with either of the other two groups.

IMG_0267 (1)

Notts County supporters were in the majority, not surprising really as they are far closer to Rotherham than is London.  They were also in fine voice!

IMG_0268

The two teams were :-

 

Notts County

Arsenal

1 Carly Telford (GK)

14 Sophie Walton (Min 66)

15 Amy Turner

23 Laura Bassett (C)

3 Alex Greenwood

4 Danielle Buet

7 Jess Clarke

8 Rachel Williams (Min 83)

9 Ellen White

18 Leanne Crichton (Min 43)

11 Desiree Scott

13 Sari van Veenendaal (GK)

20 Dominique Janssen

19 Jemma Rose

5 Casey Stoney (C)

14 Leah Williamson

25 Jade Bailey

11 Rachel Yankey

6 Vicky Losada

8 Jordan Nobbs

17 Marta Corredera

7 Natalia

Subs
Olivia Walker

Ashleigh Plumptre

Alice Hassall

6 Fern Wheelan (Min 43)

20 Aileen Wheelan (Min 66)

Laura-Jayne O’Neill (Min 83)

Emma Byrne (GK)

Carla Humphrey

Lotte Wubben-Moy

Georgina Allen

12 Chioma Ubogagu

18 Chloe Kelly

20 Vyan Sampson

The match officials were

  • Referee – Jane Simms (West Riding FA)
  • Assistants – Lisa Benn (Sussex County FA) and Jade Prince (Staffordshire County FA)
  • Fourth Official – Lucy Oliver (Northumberland County FA)

The game started with early Arsenal pressure leading to two corners (neither of which came to anything).  In Min 5 there was a nasty challenge by Amy Turner on Rachel Yankey , earning the County player a stern talking to.  This could easily have been a yellow card.  Free kick to Arsenal but again not coming to anything.  In Min 8 there was an Arsenal foul and free kick on the right hand side of the pitch about 30 metres from the Arsenal goal.

Before the kick there was a hiatus in play as the ball had to be changed three times before Jane Simms was happy.  I’ve never seen that in any professional game of football.  Someone not having done their job properly or a very poor set of balls!

Following the free kick Veenendaal made a fantastic save to keep the game scoreless.

In Min 15 we had a fourth replacement ball!

The spell of play from Minute 7 to 15 had County very much on top with Arsenal hanging on, just.

Arsenal gradually came back into the game and in Min 20 forced Telford into a save the equal of Veenendaal’s.  In Min 22 Jensen was lucky not to get a yellow card when she pulled the shirt of a County player who was past her.  Just a foul.

In Minute 26 Arsenal Score – Jordan Nobbs gets the ball on the right wing and runs and runs with it managing to beat the keeper at the near post.  TO THE ARSENAL ONE-NIL cry the faithful in the crowd.  A great individual goal.  The fifth ball obviously more to Arsenal’s liking than the previous four.

Min 32 A yellow card for Greenwood for a high challenge.  Finally the referee draws a line, many of the County challenges had been “good old-fashioned’ in nature and not entirely in keeping with the modern laws of the game.

In Min 34 came the incident that possibly turned the game, Laura Bassett came in from behind on Vicky Losada in, what caused me to say “that was an awful challenge” and was shown a straight red card.  To me the card looked entirely appropriate, only seeing it once and from the opposite side of the pitch.  The challenge looked to be reckless, from behind and quite possibly with studs showing.  That she got the ball with one foot was irrelevant as the challenge was bound to take out the player.  Needless to say the County supporters, players and staff were incensed and made much of it after the game.

Min 41 Arsenal two -nil – Jordan Nobbs again, this time with a 25m screamer giving the keeper absolutely no chance.

Min 43 County Substitution Fern Whelan replacing Crighton

Min 45+2 County very nearly get a goal back, phew that was a close one!

So half time and Arsenal would seem to have done the hard work, two – nil up and County having to play with ten players.  Need to be careful in the second half and not throw this one away.

Min 49 Nearly again for County following poor defence by Arsenal.  Janssen and Rose combining to clear a loose ball off the line with Veenendaal beaten.  Come on Ladies concentrate!

Min 60 Yellow card for Corredera to ironic cheers from the County supporters, not a bad foul but the cumulation of a number of minor ones.

Min 66 Second County Substitution Walton off,  Aileen Whelan on

Min 68 So nearly a third for Arsenal Natalia’s header hits the outside of the post.  This was to be her last meaningful action of the game as she was substituted in Min 74 Chioma Ubogagu coming on with fresh legs.

Min 76 Another high challenge from a County player, this time Aileen Wheelan on Janssen another yellow card.

Min 80 Nearly one back for County an effort just over the bar – close again.  Getting nervous now so near, can’t let them back in the game so near the final whistle

Min 83 final throw of the dice for County O’Neill replacing Rachel Williams

Min 85 County header but both high and wide – we will do this.

Min 86 Arsenal Substitution Marta off Chloe Kelly on.

Min 86 Jordan Nobbs announced as Player of the Match – loud cheers from the Arsenal supporters.

Min 89 Birthday Girl Rachel Yankey replaced by Vyan Sampson

Min 90 Chloe Kelly with a yellow card (one for the team)

Min 90+2 Arsenal score – Chioma Ubogagu with a solo effort down the left wing and a great finish TO THE ARSENAL THREE NIL.  Game over Phew!

A flattering score in truth, County never gave up and showed real fight throughout, in many cases too much – some of their challenges were really agricultural and they could easily have been down to fewer than ten players with a stricter referee.  Jane Simms did everything possible to keep the contest even in terms of numbers on the pitch.  Without recourse to video technology, the sending off looked right in real time and she was certainly well placed to make the decision.

Captain Casey Stoney applauds the supporters after the game.

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On to the celebrations and what a cock-up they turned out to be.  5,000 spectators on one side of the ground and the big-wigs on the other side.  Naturally all of the celebrations were facing the FA side so all we could see were the backs of the players.  Jordan Nobbs received the Player of the Match award first, County were waiting patiently to receive their runner-up medals when the Arsenal team were invited up to get their winner’s medals.  No-one moved expecting the announcer to correct his mistake, but nothing happened.  Eventually the Arsenal team went up and collected the trophy and medals effectively unseen by the crowd.  Even after all of that there was still no invite for County to get their medals.  Honestly it was an absolutely shambolic presentation ceremony and whosoever organised it should by now no longer be employed!

The anniversaries

  • 3 November 2010: Having beaten Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1 at the Emirates, Arsenal then proceeded to lose 2-1 in the return game.  Walcott scored for Arsenal and Eduardo got one of the Shakhtar goals.
  • 3 November 2014: Francis Coquelin was loaned to Charlton in order for him to get some games (having thus far been a regular on the Arsenal bench).  He was recalled on 12 December after five games at Charlton.

 

11 comments to Arsenal Ladies v Notts County Ladies: another great cup win but what an organisational shambles!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Andrew for this report. As you describe the celebrations this is really shameful from the FA. They can’t even organise a post match celebration as it should be… how can we expect them to organise fair refereeing….

  • Usama Zaka

    Walter, look at this video. The normal position and signal made by the referee after a goal is scored is standing still and pointing their hand towards the kick off line, right?

    Look at this, Mike Dean, the one and only CELEBRATED the spurs goal and this was not for the first time.

    https://vine.co/v/e3VKKjn7vrW

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice report Andrew , and well done the ladies !Hopefully a few from the laddies as well this season ?
    You may also want to consult your doctor , old boy , as you are repeating stuff , but in truth you have repeated it verbatim , so that should count for something !

  • Goonermikey

    Bloody Atkinson reffing the Spuds game. What a joke! A petition of 100,000+ signatures and nobody gives a damn.

  • Rantetta

    Ta for this report.

    I watched the 2nd half on a mates tv. The commentators moaned about a County player bent sent off – for the rest of the game.mimcould be wrong but my impression was that County lacked the ability to play a passing game, so just tried to be “athletic/physical”.

    Given the commentary (sounded like a female Phil Neville), and some of the play, I didn’t enjoy this match. Naturally, I’m glad Arsenal won the cup.

    I’m very grateful for all the info in this article. Tuning into the game late, I was thinking, “this looks a decent stadium – where, and who’s is it?”
    You’ve answered that for me, amongst other things. Thank you.

  • Rantetta

    I’d like to make it clear that I’m not saying it was a bad match. I’m moaning cos I didn’t see the whole thing inc. the build-up, (as I’d see a men’s FA Cup final), and I missed the 1st half it was difficult to get a proper perspective as to how the match had really gone.

    (Repeating myself).

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Ranetta,
    I was impressed by the stadium. Good view from all seats, quite steeply raked so those behind had clear sight lines whilst keeping the overall size reasonably compact. Good pitch as well.

  • Menace

    Goonermikey – Dean not Atkinson. They are all cheats anyway.

    The video evidence against Dean is damning but why hasn’t anyone taken him to court?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Brickfields,,

    I write in Apple, translate to Microsoft and sent to Tony, he than translates again into whatever the blog needs. The repeats certainly weren’t in my original. I have just upgraded my software, will clearly have to check the Microsoft translation more carefully in future. Nothing worse than repeating oneself, even if verbatim.

  • Goonermikey

    @ Menace

    Whoops yes! But you’re right, their ineptitude all seems to blur into one amorphous mass of bias after a while!

  • Tony Attwood

    Any repetition in the article is undoubtedly down to me While I was trying to publish it the technical problems that have afflicted us for a week were at their height and I kept publishing, losing, repeating, deleting and generally going round the twist.

    I take full responsibility for everything as I learned from my children long ago that everything really is my fault.