#5: Arsenal Women 4-0 Brighton Women 29/09/2019

#5 ARSENAL WOMEN 4-0 BRIGHTON WOMEN Women’s Super League
Sunday 29th September 2019 LIVE via Red Button

5ARS Intro

COMMENTATOR Robyn Cowen CO-COMMENTATOR Jayne Ludlow
REPORTER Kelly Somers HALF TIME Danielle Carter
12.30pm Kick Off; Meadow Park, Borehamwood     12.20-2.30pm Live on BBC Red Button

5ARS Fixtures 5ARS Table pre match 5ARS Home team arrival 5ARS Brighton arrivals

Context of the Match: The Seagulls survived their first season as a full-time professional top flight club, finishing the 2018/2019 Women’s Super League campaign in ninth spot out of the eleven clubs. Hope Powell’s side won four and drew four of their twenty League matches to give a final points tally of sixteen. Yeovil dropped down to the FA Women’s Championship, with two new teams – Manchester United and Tottenham – coming up to form a twelve club top level. Brighton’s aim was to maintain their WSL status for another year. With the increased competition from the strong promoted teams, as well as a huge gulf between the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City at the top, this would be another difficult season. The spotlight was on the Women’s game in this country following an incredibly popular World Cup in France during the summer. England’s Lionesses reached their second successive World Semi Final, losing to eventual Champions USA, and viewing figures went through the roof. The record audience was smashed four times during the tournament; culminating in a peak of 11.7 million on primetime BBC One, almost three times the record in this country pre-World Cup. It was important for the game to ride the crest of this wave to expand and improve further. Brighton reported a huge increase in season ticket sales, at a cost of just £30, hoping to attract record attendances through the Crawley turnstiles once more this campaign. On the broadcasting front, the television rights deal remained as it was last year with a Live match from each round of the WSL being broadcast on BBC via the Red Button and a further game on BT Sport. In addition, the Football Association launched their own app – the FA Player – which allowed anyone anywhere to watch every single WSL match Live and for free. It was a huge initiative and meant that, for some players, it would be the first time many of their friends and family would be able to watch their League performances in full. The BBC’s summer of Women’s sport was tag lined “Change the game”; this attempted to do just that. And financial support was provided by Barclays Bank, who became the first title sponsor of the League, now known as the FA Barclays WSL. For Brighton’s first Live televised match of the campaign, a tough trip to Champions Arsenal awaited. This was just the third match of the League season and both clubs went into it unbeaten. The Gunners defeated West Ham and Manchester United to have a 100% start, whilst the Albion drew the opener at Bristol City nil-nil and were just seconds away from beating Champions League Semi Finalists Chelsea, but for an injury time equaliser. If they could come away with something from Borehamwood here, it would be the biggest result in the Division so far, and in front of the BBC cameras.

5ARS Arsenal5ARS Brighton

The Teams: Hope Powell strengthened her Albion squad over the summer break, adding a couple of new faces to bolster the core that survived their first season as a fully professional top flight team. Goalkeeper Megan Walsh made the switch from relegated Yeovil, where she spent two years. Yeovil’s relegation followed a period of administration which hit the club dearly, forcing them to move down to the third tier after their application to join the second tier Championship was rejected; forcing a mass exodus of their star players. The twenty-four-year-old represented England at under-17, 19 and 23 level. Another new signing was young Danish full-back Matilde Lundorf. She transferred from Aarhus and previously was part of Paris Saint Germain’s youth setup. Lundorf slotted in to an established back four including Fliss Gibbons and Victoria Williams. The latter saw her penalty saved in the opening day goalless draw at Bristol City. Completing the defence was Fern Whelan, with the Seagulls missing Laura Rafferty long term due to an ACL injury picked up in training. In front of the defence sat Dani Bowman, the midfielder better known as Dani Buet. She got married in the summer, hence the name change. On the left wing, Aileen Whelan’s goal in the previous League match at home to Chelsea almost caused a huge upset before the Blues scrambled home a stoppage time equaliser. Ellie Brazil featured heavily in the previous WSL campaign, whilst Emily Simpkins was more of a fringe player. This was her first start of the League season, coming in to replace French international Lea Le Garrec; a close season recruit from Guingamp. Irishwoman Megan Connolly could play either in the middle or up top. Completing the starting XI was Welsh international Kayleigh Green. Among the options on the bench were striker Ini Umotong, who opened the scoring in this fixture last season, and defender Danique Kerkdijk. She was part of the Netherlands World Cup squad that finished as runners up in France in the summer, having signed for Brighton prior to the tournament. For Joe Montemurro’s Champion Arsenal side, six of the starting line-up were in their nation’s World Cup squads over the summer. That included the deadly Dutch duo up top of Vivianne Miedema and Danielle Van de Donk. Miedema broke the WSL record for most goals in a single season last campaign, netting a total of twenty-two in twenty League matches. She also became the Netherlands all-time top scorer in June, scoring for the sixtieth time in international competition at the age of just twenty-three. Scottish duo Kim Little and Lisa Evans provide further goals and creativity in a star-studded line up. That meant no room for England’s Beth Mead, who started as a substitute today, whilst her fellow Lioness Leah Williamson held firm in the middle of the park. The big absentee from England’s Semi Final squad was Jordan Nobbs but back in the domestic side this season after recovering from the injury which kept her out of the entire first half of 2019. French reserve ‘keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin kept goal for the Gunners, as they waved goodbye to Dutch stopper, and goalie of the World Cup, Sari van Veenendaal after four years. Refereeing today’s contest at Boreham Wood Football Club was Elliot Swallow.

5ARS Kick Off 5ARS Comms 5ARS Presentation team

Presentation Team: Commentary was provided by Robyn Cowen and Jayne Ludlow. Cowen is one of the leading voices of women’s football in this country. She commentated on the Women’s World Cup for the BBC in France, behind Jonathan Pearce as the number two. Two years earlier, Cowen was second choice behind Steve Bower for Channel 4’s coverage of the Women’s European Championships in the Netherlands. Since 2018, along with Vicki Sparks, Cowen is one of the BBC’s regular voices on Live WSL matches and has commentated on the men’s game for Match of the Day. As of the beginning of the 2019/20 campaign, she featured more heavily on the Premier League highlights and has been a reporter for Final Score and Football Focus for four years. This is the second time commentating on an Albion Women’s match Live, having been behind the mic for the defeat to Chelsea in December 2018. Co-commentator Jayne Ludlow is the Welsh Women’s national team manager, having been in the post since 2014. The forty-year-old retired from playing in 2013 and has a year in charge of Reading before her country came calling. The former midfielder spent thirteen years at Arsenal, of which she is a supporter, and captained the side to numerous League and Cup successes. Since the BBC regularly broadcasted Live WSL matches from the start of last season, Ludlow has become an increasingly frequent member of the team. She is a pundit on magazine programme The Women’s Football Show and rotates turns in the commentary box along with Sue Smith and Laura Bassett. As with the other BBC Red Button games, the programme is handled out-of-vision by the commentary team apart from a brief couple of minutes during half time. During this period, the presenter and guest for the evening’s Women’s Football Show provide a report on the match so far. That role fell today to Kelly Somers, who doubled up as the pitchside reporter, and guest Danielle Carter. Somers previous work included matchday stadium hosting at AFC Bournemouth and cricket side Surrey Storm before climbing the ranks at the BBC. She continues to do stadium presenting for West Ham but is better known as a reporter and presenter for The Women’s Football Show on the BBC for the past two years, sharing duties with Eilidh Barbour and Reshmin Chowdhury. Somers also reported on other BBC magazine programmes Football Focus and Final Score and on radio for Talksport. Outside of the UK, she can be seen by the world on the Premier League Productions preview and Fantasy Football fan shows. Her guest Danielle Carter is a current Arsenal Women’s striker out injured with a knee problem suffered in pre-season. She’s spent her entire senior career to date at the Gunners, playing over a century of matches in ten years graduating from the Leyton Orient youth setup to the Arsenal first team. She has also represented England at every level from under-17, under-19, under-20 and under-23s as well as the senior side, netting a hat-trick on debut in an eight-nil victory in Estonia.

5ARS Powell 5ARS One to Watch 5ARS Coming Up

The Coverage: From the beginning of this season, a brand new initiative was launched by the Football Association which transformed the coverage of the women’s game in this country. The “FA Player” app made every single Super League match available Live and for free, wherever you were in the world. This was in addition to the television broadcast deal in place from last year, where Live League games were shown on BT Sport and the BBC Red Button. The FA Player meant that all other non-televised matches were available to stream Live on the app. On the back of the success of the England team reaching the Semi Final of the Women’s World Cup, and the huge audiences achieved on the BBC, the FA attempted to capitalise on the growing interest. Matches were being played in men’s first team club stadiums such as Stamford Bridge and The Etihad, with record attendance figures being smashed in the opening days of the season. The national side would be playing at Wembley in November setting a new record for ticket sales as over 80,000 people were expected. In terms of the television coverage, BT Sport continued to broadcast at least one game per matchweek. The BBC provided their magazine programme The Women’s Football Show with a new primetime Sunday 7pm slot on BBC Four and a repeat on BBC One after Match of the Day 2. Like before, one WSL match per round was moved to an earlier kick off slot for Live broadcast on the BBC website and Red Button. Coverage began ten minutes before the 12.30pm start and was introduced by the commentary team of Robyn Cowen and Jayne Ludlow. The programme began with a glance at the day’s other WSL fixtures and the current table standings before previewing our clash with Champions Arsenal. We saw shots of the two teams arriving at the ground and getting off the coach, across a rainy Meadow Park stadium, before hearing from both managers who were interviewed by Kelly Somers. Arsenal’s Joe Montemurro called it “probably the toughest game of September”, aware of Albion’s impressive draw with Chelsea last time out. Brighton boss Hope Powell was in good spirits reflecting on the first matches of the campaign; “Really pleased we’ve started well, it’s a 100% improvement on last year which is great. Today we’re under no illusions on how challenging the test will be but we’re in fighting spirit, we’re gonna give it a good go.”  She went on to stress the importance of the defence standing strong and being diligent in order to get something out of this match. Jayne Ludlow picked out Leah Williamson as the ‘One to Watch’ for Arsenal, equally adept at playing in defence or midfield. Whilst the Albion’s Dani Bowman was her choice from our squad, highlighting the midfielder’s tough tackling and links to her time at Arsenal early on in her career. After a little more chat, the teams were ready and waiting to emerge from the tunnel.

5ARS Half Time 1 5ARS Half Time 2 5ARS POTM

New for this season was the replay transition wipe sporting a BBC logo instead of the WSL crest. During the half time break, fifteen minutes of air time had to be filled and this was where the BBC’s Red Button coverage would include a couple of features and interviews. The commentary team began by analysing the best of the first half action, including the two Arsenal goals separating the teams. The pass for Kim Little’s opener and the finish from Vivianne Miedema to double the lead were particularly good. They showed how tough it was for Kayleigh Green up front on her own for the Albion, having to do a lot with little possession and support. Our first VT of half time was an interview with Manchester United Women’s captain Katie Zelem in a feature called ‘This is Me’. She spoke about how she got into the game, her earliest memories of football and her influences. She’s the skipper and big United fan but used to play for Liverpool, and the two sides met in the WSL the day before. Extended highlights of that clash were shown next, with commentary from Michael McCann. With every match streamed Live on the FA Player, it meant each one had a commentator, which would then be used during the highlights show. Goals from Lauren James and Katie Zelem secured a two-nil victory at their Leigh Sports home, their first League win of the season. Then it was time to head down to the touchline to join Kelly Somers and Danielle Carter to review the first half, who were in situ ahead of recording that evening’s Women’s Football Show links. Carter said it was as expected from Brighton, sitting in deep and trying to defend for their lives making it trickier for Arsenal to break them down. She cited the difference in the quality of players being the difference, whilst the first half stats scrawled on the bottom right hand corner of the screen confirming the home side’s dominance. Arsenal enjoyed two-thirds of the possession, had six shots to Albion’s one and both on target resulted in goals. The pair also chatted about the League in general, England Women and the other matches that weekend. They ended by updating us on the progress of Carter’s knee injury, at the very early stages of her rehab and expecting to be out for quite a while yet. With that, it was time for the second half to begin. When the match concluded, there was just three or four minutes left to wrap things up before coming off air. Barclays Player of the Match Jordan Nobbs was interviewed on pitch by Kelly Somers, as the rain continued to lash down on them. The midfielder was delighted to back playing again after a long time out, this her first home game of 2019. She summarised by saying “I think we controlled the ball very well and kept possession but we’ve seen Brighton get points and play very well against Chelsea. So I think we’ve got the three points we wanted and Joe [Montemurro] will be happy with the way we played today.” After a quick look ahead to programmes to come on the BBC, it was time to say goodbye and bring an end to another Live Seagulls broadcast.

5ARS Lining up 5ARS Little opener

Story of the Match: The Gunners got the game underway kicking from right to left in the first half. The BBC scorebar initially struggled to cope with Albion’s change kit, wearing green instead of blue, and so disappeared from screen intermittently whilst they updated the colours. On the field, Arsenal dominated the ball and it did not take long for them to break the deadlock. In just the ninth minute, Vivianne Miedema slipped the ball through the back line for Kim Little to latch on to. The Scot took one touch to set herself before slotting low past Megan Walsh from six yards. The Albion had to dig deep for much of the rest of the half, with left back Fliss Gibbons in particular earned her pay cheque and preserved the scoreline. The Seagulls were restricted to very little by way of attacking threat. Kayleigh Green’s speculative right-footed effort from twenty-five yards was about as good as it got. The shot not a problem for Payroud-Magnin ten minutes before the break. Five minutes later, Arsenal doubled their lead through some nice, neat passing. A short corner found Little on the left. She looked for Jordan Nobbs whose lovely first-time cushioned pass sat nicely for Miedema in the area. She got her shot off early, a hard drive on the left of the six-yard box which flew into the opposite corner of the net. It was a very well worked move from the Champions and they deservedly went in two-nil up at the whistle. Hope Powell brought back Lea Le Garrec to bolster the attack for the second half, replacing Emily Simpkins. The Frenchwoman immediately showed positive intentions with a long-range shot, even if the execution left a lot to be desired.

5ARS Sub 5ARS Nobbs four

However, it took just eleven minutes for a third goal to go in, this time from Danielle Van de Donk. Brighton’s Megan Connolly was dispossessed twenty yards inside her own half by Maier. In an attempt to win it back, Connolly’s challenge deflected the ball into the path of Miedema who rolled the pressure of Victoria Williams. Miedema then laid the ball on for her fellow Dutch international Van de Donk, who took one touch and finished like a natural goalscorer. Deadly from Arsenal and it was game over for sure now, if it wasn’t already. The task for the Seagulls was now to keep the score respectable. Maya Le Tissier replaced Kayleigh Green for fresh legs in the midfield. A four-goal margin was about par against these top sides last season. And four-nil it was when Jordan Nobbs added her name to the scoresheet with twenty minutes to play. Substitute Beth Mead was set free down the right of the penalty area from Little’s pass. Her cross went over everyone and to the other side of the box. The cut back was headed out to the edge of the box for Nobbs to hit it on the half-volley. Her shot squirmed through the crowd of players to deceive Megan Walsh as it went between her legs and in for four. A chance to pull one back fell the way of right-back Matilde Lundorf ten minutes from time, but she scuffed her effort wide of the target after latching onto a loose ball in the area. Back at the busier end, Beth Mead saw her effort on the edge crash against the angle of post and bar after a one-two with Nobbs. It remained four-nil to the Arsenal as the final whistle brought to an end a miserable, tough afternoon for Brighton. It was clear the Albion were still a long way off those top clubs in the Women’s Super League. Onwards and upwards from now on.

5ARS Full Time

ARSENAL WOMEN 4 BRIGHTON WOMEN 0
Little, Miedema, Van de Donk, Nobbs

5ARS Replay

PREVIOUS; #4 BRIGHTON WOMEN 0-4 ARSENAL WOMEN 28/04/2019

NEXT; #6 MANCHESTER CITY WOMEN 5-0 BRIGHTON WOMEN 15/12/2019

 

 

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

2 Responses to #5: Arsenal Women 4-0 Brighton Women 29/09/2019

  1. Pingback: #4: Brighton Women 0-4 Arsenal Women 28/04/2019 | Mark O'MEARA

  2. Pingback: #6: Manchester City Women 5-0 Brighton Women 15/12/2019 | Mark O'MEARA

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