by Andrew Crawshaw
Arsenal started with all of our fit senior outfield players
Sari van Veenendaal
Lisa Evans, Leah Williamson, Louise Quinn, Emma Mitchell c
Dominique Bloodworth, Danielle van de Donk
Katie McCabe, Vivianne Miedema, Beth Mead
Subs – Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, and three U18s – Ava Kuyken, Ruby Grant and Paige Bailey-Gayle
Hourihan gk, Barton, Rafferty, Williams, Perry, Peplow, Legg, Green, Natkiel, Umotong, Whelan
Subs – Gillet, Gibbons, Brazil, Brett, Harris, Simpkins and Le Tissier
Clearly none of our four long term injured players were going to be available
- Viktoria Schnaderback – Knee injured in pre season no date yet for her return
- Danielle Carter – Cruciate knee ligaments – now in the gym but unlikely to play again this season
- Kim Little – Broken tibia in the Chelsea match – out till late January
- Jordan Nobbs – Anterior Cruciate Ligament damage so that puts paid to her season.
Jessica Samuelsson and Tabea Kemme were also unavailable failing to recover from their injuries but there was some good news with both Lisa Evans and Emma Mitchell being able to return to the starting line up and Pauline Peyraud-Magnin at least fit enough to be on the bench.
We started very quickly and were nearly ahead in the first minute with Vivianne Miedema pouncing on a poor back pass but Hourihan made an excellent stop in the Brighton goal. We continued pressing for an early goal; Lia Walti had a shot which was wide right and Miedema had a shot blocked then another one saved and Danielle van de Donk hit the bar all in the first 5 minutes!
Then completely against the run of play Umotong for Brighton was found with a long ball and out muscled two defenders and scored a well taken goal. For a few minutes Brighton were in the ascendancy as we regrouped.
In Min 16 Katie McCabe had a shot blocked, then Miedema and McCabe in the 18th minute. A minute later Miedema headed wide from a Mead corner as Arsenal pressure began to tell. It wasn’t entirely one way traffic though as van Veenendaal made a brilliant finger tip save to push a long range shot from Kayleigh Green on to the crossbar.
Then in the 24th minute our pressure finally told on Brighton as Vivianne Miedema pounced on another poor Brighton backpass, rounded the keeper and scored from the right hand side of the box. The second 15 minute period ended with another couple of Arsenal efforts being saved by Hourihan who was having a good game.
The next 15 minute spell up to half time was where we won the game. In the 33rd minute Miedema spun away from two markers as a throw in came to her from near the left hand goal line, she laid the ball back for Dominique Bloodworth who struck it sweetly on the volley and we were ahead. Mead had a shot saved in the 38th minute but then provided a perfect corner for Danielle van de Donk to head home our third. Hourihan saved another Miedema shot as the half came to a close with Arsenal 3 – 1 ahead.
Brighton made a half time substitution with Ellie Brazil replacing Jenna Legg. In truth the second half was more relaxed, Arsenal knew they had done enough to win the match and made a professional job of controlling the game keeping possession and always looking as though they could score more goals should it really become necessary.
Our efforts weren’t quite on target or were within reach of Hourihan. That changed in the 80th minute when Beth Mead scored the pick of our goals. She collected the ball on the left hand side of the 18 yard box, from a wonderful ball by van de Donk, took a touch moving the ball to her right foot and struck the sweetest of curlers over Hourihan into the top right hand corner of the net. Quite Exquisite.
We then gave all three of our youngsters some more game time, Paige Bailey-Gayle coming on for Emma Mitchell, Ava Kuyken for Danielle van de Donk and with only a couple of minutes to go Ruby Grant came on for Vivianne Miedema.
Our attendance was 1,237
Nine league games played and nine wins – our 100% start continues.
Here is a link to the goals etc from Arsenal.com – you will probably need to have an arsenal video login to access it, if you haven’t got one you should, its free and gives you access to all of the mens games in full and highlights of the Women, the U18 and U23 matches as well.
What happened in the other WSL matches?
Liverpool 0 Birmingham 2 – Birmingham got off to a dream start at Liverpool as Emma Follis scored in the third minute with a good half-volley following a cross by Sargeant. Schofield scored the second in the 40th minute when through one on one following an assist from Harriet Scott. Birmingham keeping up pressure for second place whilst it is now four defeats in a row for Liverpool. Attendance was 336
Reading 2 – Everton 1 – Bottom of the table Everton took the lead when Hannah Cain swept home Anessa Kaagman’s cross. Unfortunately that was as good as it got for them. Within seven minutes Brooke Chaplen equalised from a Remi Allen cross. She then won the match in the closing stages to move them above Chelsea to fourth. Attendance was 285
West Ham 2 – Bristol 0 – A good win for West Ham moving them away from the scrap to avoid relegation. Alisha Lehmann nearly got a goal for West ham in the opening minutes but her shot was cleared off the line. She wasn’t to be denied again though as she made a solo run and her shot from the edge of the area took a deflection and beat Baggaley in the Bristol Goal. West Ham secured the points late on as Jane Ross pounced on a poor back pass and tucked the ball home. Attendance was 562
Yeovil 0 v Man City 4 – You could have put your shirt on the outcome of this match. Second place Man City are, like us, unbeaten but had won 5 and drawn 3 at kickoff. Yeovil have at last won a WSL game but have the worst defensive record in the league. Under the circumstances they will probably regard the final score as acceptable. City were two up at half time through Nikita Parris and Carolone Weir. Yeovil started the second half better with Ann-Marie Heatherson heading against the bar and Olivia Fergusson went close but late goals from Steph Houghton and Claire Emslie added gloss to the scoreline. Attendance was 1,153
It was Chelsea’s turn to sit out as the 11th club.
Here is the current table
Next up is the eagerly awaited top of the table clash between Man City and Arsenal next Sunday at 12:30 again being shown by BBC on line and on the Red Button. We are guaranteed to be top of the table whatever the result but I’m sure we would all like to beat City and end the first half of the league season with our 100% record intact.