#2: Arsenal Women 4-1 Brighton Women 25/11/2018

#2 ARSENAL WOMEN 4-1 BRIGHTON WOMEN Women’s Super League
Sunday 25th November 2018 LIVE via Red Button


REPORTER Anita Jones HALF TIME Eilidh Barbour & Jayne Ludlow
12.30pm Kick Off; Meadow Park, Borehamwood     12.20-2.30pm Live on BBC Red Button

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Context of the Match: Brighton’s debut season in Women’s Super League was very tough. After the first eight League games the club had won just once (at home to fellow early strugglers Yeovil) and drawn once (at the only side before today’s game yet to win – Everton). Four points from a possible twenty-four left the club in 9th place out of the eleven teams. Arsenal in contrast were having an incredible season, destroying all in their path winning eight out of eight and scoring almost forty goals! The task the Albion had on their hands, Live on television, was immense. It had to be a case of trying to keep the scoreline to a minimum, surely.


The Teams: Brighton captain and former Arsenal midfielder Dani Buet was absent due to injury. Green and Legg bring fresh legs to the team in green. Laura Rafferty skippered the side from the heart of the defence, with Ini Umotong leading the attack up front; both players were seeking to draw inspiration from the men’s team having both been in attendance for Brighton’s draw with Leicester the day before. The Le Tissier you can see on the bench is 16-year-old Maya, who is sadly no relation of the great Matt Le Tissier but she too is from Guernsey. She’s also captained England at youth level and is one to watch for the future. For Arsenal, they made just one change from their latest win – Evans coming in at right back. England Women manager Phil Neville was in attendance, primarily to witness Beth Mead up front. Alongside her was WSL top scorer Vivianne Miedema who has an amazing thirteen goals in eight games this season. England star Jordan Nobbs suffered a serious injury in the previous match and is a long term absentee.

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Presentation Team: As this match was Live on the Red Button and BBC Sport website, conventional television forms aren’t adhered to; such as presenter and timings. The coverage began about ten minutes before the 12.30pm kick-off with commentator Vicki Sparks linking things together out-of-vision. Sparks made history in the summer by becoming the first woman to commentate at a World Cup Live on UK television when she did a couple of the group stage matches. She is the voice of the WSL on BBC, covering their Live Red Button match most Sundays. Her regular co-commentator is former England defender Laura Bassett. Bassett was part of the team that finished with the Bronze medal at the Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2015, infamously scoring an own-goal in the semi-final defeat. She was most recently registered as a player in Australia but is due to give birth in December. She’s a regular in the media covering Women’s Football, working for BBC as well as BT Sport in both WSL and England coverage, and appearing on Sky Sports this season covering the men’s game on midweek Soccer Specials. Graduate reporter Anita Jones conducted pre-match interviews with the managers. She is a new name to national football coverage, having completed the BBC Kick Off Sports Reporter scheme. In previous Live matches on the Red Button the WSL production company Whisper Films have used similar new names as reporters, most recently Mitul Samji. Their interviews were broadcast in the few minutes leading up to the kick-off.

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Anita Jones BBC

The Coverage: With no formal presentation afforded to Red Button matches, coverage began shortly before the teams emerged from the tunnel. Commentator Vicki Sparks introduced herself and co-commentator Laura Bassett out-of-vision, talking us through the League table. She then linked to the pre-match thoughts of managers Hope Powell and Joe Montemurro being interviewed by Anita Jones. The commentary team then briefly singled out a couple of key players including Brighton striker Ini Umotong over shots of them warming up. There was just time to go through the line-ups before the match kicked off. The half time break was packed with features and VTs to fill the 15 minutes. After going through the first half highlights with the commentators (again out-of-vision unfortunately!) there was then a couple of general WSL features that would also be seen on the Women’s Football Show later that night. Firstly an interview Rachel Brown-Finnis conducted with Birmingham goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger who has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Then there was a feature called Scroll and Stop with Reading and England midfielder Fara Williams in which she’d talk us through various images from her career. And lastly Ini Umotong was interviewed about her life and career so far. All three items helped show off the personalities involved so you get to know the players and raise the profile of the game, which the Women’s Football Show and coverage of the WSL does very well. It’s something the Football League highlights programmes should do more in the men’s game as outside the Premier League and to some extent the Championship, we don’t see much of the lower division teams other than their goals. Before the second half was underway, presenter Eilidh Barbour and her pundit, Wales manager Jayne Ludlow, discussed the women’s game in general. They were there to present the Women’s Football Show for that night, which is broadcast from one of the grounds each week so made sense to squeeze that little bit more from them. Once the game had finished, there was little time to wrap up the game with the commentators before coverage ended for the day. Post match interviews and analysis were shown on the aforementioned highlights show.

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Story of the Match: The final score didn’t quite reflect how much Brighton could take from this. Arsenal had a chance within the first 30 seconds of the match saved well by Hourihan and then hit the post a few minutes later, setting the expectation for many. However it was Brighton who took a surprise early lead. Last season’s top scorer Ini Umotong was through on goal after battling brilliantly to win a bouncing ball over the top and finished well to shock the Borehamwood crowd and give her her first League goal of the season. Things nearly got even better for the Albion after a quarter of the match when Wales international Kayleigh Green smashed a shot from more than twenty yards which was just tipped onto the crossbar by the goalkeeper. This proved to be crucial as Arsenal went straight up the other end to equalise from Miedema after a lapse in concentration in the Brighton backline. The ball was played back from the halfway line to Victoria Williams who allowed the ball to slip under her feet and presented Vivianne Miedema with a clear sight of goal, who rounded the keeper and tapped into the open net. The game was turned around after 33 minutes when a throw in on the far side found it’s way to Miedema by the touchline who cut the ball back for Dominique Bloodworth to fire home first time in the box. This gave Arsenal the confidence to go for it like they’re used to so far this season and scored a third goal six minutes later. Beth Mead’s corner was driven in perfectly for the head of Danielle van de Donk to nod home a few yards out almost unmarked. Brighton had done well for the opening twenty minutes or so but the third goal killed off any hope of getting any points from this in the second half and the original gameplan of keeping the defeat down to a minimum was back in play. The second half was largely even with Brighton going close with an Umotong header but the seal was put on with ten minutes remaining when Mead was allowed to curl an effort into the corner above the goalkeeper from about fifteen yards out. Phil Neville had already left by this point to get to the Reading match kicking off at 2pm but this goal would have given her even more reason to remain in the England squad ahead of the Women’s World Cup next year. For Brighton, this match was never one marked out to get anything from so the goal and a decent all-round performance is plenty to take from this in their debut WSL season. Arsenal’s 100% record continued.

Miedema, Bloodworth, van de Donk, Mead Umotong




About Mark O'MEARA
I am Mark O'MEARA.

2 Responses to #2: Arsenal Women 4-1 Brighton Women 25/11/2018

  1. Pingback: #1: Brighton Women 0-1 Liverpool Women 23/09/2018 | Mark O'MEARA

  2. Pingback: #3: Brighton Women 0-4 Chelsea Women 09/12/2018 | Mark O'MEARA

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