A review of Yeovil v Arsenal Women and preview of Arsenal v West Ham on Sunday

by Andrew Crawshaw

Arsenal played their second WSL League match of the season on Wednesday Evening against Yeovil Town at Dorchester Town FC in front of a decent crowd of 1101.

Our trip to Yeovil last season was frustrating with the Yeovil keeper in outstanding form to deny our strikers again and again… and again.  The game finished as a no score draw which was one of the crucial scores of the season as we failed to qualify for the Women’s Champions League by a single point – if only we had made just one of our numerous chances count.

Our Team on Wednesday was :-


Samuelsson, Quinn, Bloodworth Mitchell


Nobbs, Little

Van de Donk, Miedema, Mead

Subs – Van Veenendaal, Williamson, Evans and McCabe

This year we got off to a much better start when in the sixth minute a Jordan Nobbs strike from the left side of the 18yard box took a wicked deflection to nestle into the bottom left corner.   Walsh in the Yeovil goal had the original shot covered so that was a lucky deflection from our point of view.  I noted that on 11 minutes possession was 69/40 to Arsenal with hree shots to one in our favour

20 minutes in and Beth Mead has added a second – a right foot shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the area. 

The first half ended and still just the two goals for Arsenal. 61% possession, nine shots to two and four corners to nil. A dominant performance with more goals looking likely in the second half.  Rather surprisingly this season no goals for Vivianne Miedema following her two successive hat-tricks.

In the other Women’s matches – Bristol v Chelsea is goalless on 79 mins, Birmingham have just started their second half one up at home to Brighton and West Ham v Reading is goalless at half time.

At half time Joe Montemurro made a substitution with Katie McCabe replacing Danielle Van de Donk.  Danielle had played the full 90 minutes in our previous games and this was a case of workload management rather than injury.

Three early corners in the first five minutes then Katie McCabe made it three nil with a right footed shot from the centre of the box into the bottom right corner from a Nobbs assist.  Two minutes later and Miedema sprung into life and gets our fourth with an assist from Kim Little.

Min 56 she had another goalbound effort saved , Louise Quinn then has a header saved from an Arsenal corner. Kim Little comes close in Min 58 and Min 60 Lia Walti has a right footed shot go just over the bar.  At this point we were absolutely dominant. 16 shots, 9 on target and 9 corners to nil to go with our four goals.

Mins 60 to 75 are quieter, both managers making substitutions. For us Lisa Evans and Leah Williamson come on replacing Beth Mead and Lia Walti.

Jordan Noobs then starts the last fifteen minutes with a right footed screamer from the edge of the box to the top right corner making it five nil. She is now on a hat-trick for this game.  Dominique Bloodworth then got in on the goalscoring in Min 80 with right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the bottom right corner following a solo run.

I wonder who is going to be next.  Min 89 and we complete the scoring, Kim Little who was teed up by Vivianne Miedema.

Stats – Arsenal with 56% possession, shots 22 to Yeovil’s 4, on target 11 to 2, corners 9 to Arsenal, none to Yeovil, and 8 Yeovil fouls to our 3.

There are video highlights available on Arsenal.com

In the other midweek games Chelsea were surprisingly held to a second consecutive goalless draw giving Arsenal a four point and 12 goal advantage which we will probably need as the season progresses.  West Ham, our Sunday opponents held Reading to another goalless draw.

Here is the current table – please note that with 11 teams in the league one sits out each matchweek so there are now 2 teams having played one game with the rest on two.

P W D L +/- Pts
1 Arsenal 2 2 0 0 12 6
2 Birmingham 2 2 0 0 2 6
3 Man City 2 1 1 0 4 4
4 Reading 2 1 1 0 4 4
5 Bristol City 2 1 1 0 1 4
6 Chelsea 2 0 2 0 0 2
7 West Ham 1 0 1 0 0 1
8 Brighton 2 0 0 2 -2 0
9 Everton 2 0 0 2 -5 0
10 Liverpool 1 0 0 1 -5 0
11 Yeovil Town 2 0 0 2 -11 0

Now on to Sunday and a 14:00 kickoff against West Ham who we beat 3-1 in our first Continental Tyres Cup Match. With the men kicking off at 16:00 there possibly won’t be much of a crowd at Borehamwood. I wish the Club had changed the time or date to make it possible to get to both.

West Ham are newly elected to the WSL having competed in the second division last year.  I expect them provide far sterner opposition, they have recruited well to set them up for this season and on paper are one of the stronger teams in the division.  Having said that we beat them quite convincingly in our opening game in the Continental Tyres Cup  in August and so must start as strong favourites.

With us having a very limited squad in terms of numbers right now there is little scope for many changes.  Ava Kuyken could return to the bench assuming she has returned from America, apart from that the squad will be the same as for Wednesday’s game.

There are minor injury worries for Lia Walti who came off late in the game at Yeovil last weekend, but as she was able to start on Wednesday she will probably feature again on Sunday.  Leah Williamson and Sari van Veenendaal have also been carrying minor knocks.  Pauline Peyraud-Magnin will almost certainly continue in goal of but I would like to see Leah back for the full game – she came back broken from her last stint with England and it looks like we will have her mended in time for the next round of Internationals.

Jessica Samuelsson has now played two full games having returned from a long term foot injury and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see her drop back to the bench.

The game is being shown live on The FA Women’s Super League – Home | Facebook so you should be able to pick up some kind of coverage.  It would be good if the match was also shown on the screens at the Emirates, but I don’t suppose that is going to happen. 

If you can’t get to the Emirates for the 16:00 Everton game why not go along to Borehamwood and support the Women?  Having scored 24 goals in four games you are bound to see goals and there are plenty of pubs in Borehamwood to catch the Everton game later.  Tickets are £10 and £5 for concessions and are available on the gate.