by Andrew Crawshaw
As I said in my preview Spurs would have felt good at reaching this stage of the Ladies FA Cup having beaten Brighton (newly promoted to the WSL2) in the fourth round. Spurs currently play in the third tier of Ladies Football – the FA Women’s Premier League South against teams including Lewes, Portsmouth, Charlton, West Ham and Crystal Palace. Arsenal are one of the top three Ladies Clubs in the country along with Chelsea and Manchester City. A good performance against us would certainly have been a major boost to their confidence. They started this match with a 27 match unbeaten run.
Arsenal under manager Pedro Losa started the manager with a different look from last season.
Long time players, Kelly Holmes MBE, Rachael Yankey MBE and Casey Stoney MBE and goalie Emma Byrne, all left during the close season, Kelly moving to a full time coaching position with the club. Additionally our Spanish duo of Marta Corredera and Vicki Losada both left, as did our German Josephine Henning and, most surprisingly, Asisat Oshoala who joined a Chinese club.
This exodus allowed us to bring in Kim Little returning to the club from Seattle Reign, Heather O’Reilly from Kansas City, Beth Mead from Sunderland FC and Anna Moorehouse a goalkeeper from Doncaster Rovers.
The formation was also different with a 3-4-3 formation.
The team was :-
Sari Van Veenendaal
Leah Williamson, Fara Williams and Dominique Janssen
Jordan Nobbs, Kim Little (c), Jodie Taylor (60), Danielle Van de Donk
Heather O’Reilly, Danielle Carter (60), Katie McCabe (78)
on the beach were Anna Moorhouse, Carla Humphrey, Patten (78), Beth Mead (60) and Chloe Kelly (60)
Spurs team was
Toni-Anne Wayne (GK), Lucia Leon, Leah Rawle (46), Sophie McLean, JosieGreen, Bianca Baptiste, Nikita Whinnett (68), Wendy Martin, Jenna Schillachi, (c), Rianna Soobadoo (63), Renee Hector
Their bench Megan Lynch, Maya Vio (63), Dan Carlton, Eatrha Pond (46), Kelley Blanchflower (68)
The match started relatively quietly with Arsenal dominating possession and virtually all of the play in the Tottenham half no clear cut chances in the opening 15 minutes.
In the second 15 Arsenal’s dominance increased with Spurs defending becoming deeper and deeper and the Arenal pressure told with Danny Carter pawering a low drive past Toni-Anne Wayne after a defence splitting pass from Jordan Nobbs. Dominique Janssen added a second with a delightful near post finish to turn home a cross from Heather O’Reilly. Great ball and finish absolutely no chance for the Spurs keeper. One minute later it was three nil and game over as a meaningful contest. This time it was Dan Carter with her second of the match.
The third 15 min spell saw us continue to dominate and score another two goals. Kim Little marked her return to the club with a clean strike and Danielle Van de Donk scored the fifth, bundling the ball in with two minutes of the half remaining. In our goal I can only recall Sari having to make one catch with a Spurs attacker anywhere near her. A totally dominant exhibition of football.
The second half started with a Spurs defensive change Eartha Pond coming on for Leah Rawle. Unfortunately it did little to settle the Spurs defence as the Arsenal onslaught continued. The sixth goal came at the end of the next 15 minute spell, Danielle van de Donk getting her second with a fantastic backheel after being teed up by Carter. The question on the crowd’s lips was which of our two Dan’s would get the hat-trick first.
As we went into the last half hour it was clearly not going to be Dan Carter as she and Jodie Taylor were both substituted being replaced by Beth Mead and Chloe Kelly. Neither took long to make an impact, Chloe scoring in the 65th following a great solo run and Beth in the 69th her first on her debut.
The last 15 minutes saw a great shot from Jordan Nobbs come back off the face of the post before Katy McCabe made it nine after nicking the ball off the Spurs defence and hitting a thunderbolt which was unstoppable. Van de Donk appropriately finished off the scoring with her third and our tenth with a delightful chip over the keeper.
We scored ten – better than the men sang out the crowd. Sentiments that no-one on the red side of the ground could in any way disagree with.
Furthermore we gave our would-be rivals Tottenham a complete footballing lesson that absolutely outlined the difference in class between the two clubs and that is something that should always be applauded by all Arsenal fans.
On Monday the draw for the quarter final was made and our reward is a trip to Birmingham this coming Sunday – the fourth time we have played them in five years and a repeat of last year’s fifth round tie. Games against Birmingham City are never easy and this certainly won’t be a ten nil walk in the park.
The full quarter final draw is
- Birmingham City v Arsenal
- Chelsea v Sunderland
- Bristol City v Manchester City
- Liverpool v Notts County
For kick-off time, ticket and travel news please check with Arsenal.com
Footnote: in preparing to publish this article I did a quick Google search on the phrase “Tottenham Ladies” and found this
Spurs Ladies – Tottenham Hotspur
Another huge win for Spurs Ladies.