Thu 12 October 2017
Boreham Wood FC
Concessions : £5
London Bees look to upset the apple cart at Arsenal
The Gunners host their lower-league rivals in the FA Continental Tyres Cup on Thursday
Both Arsenal and London Bees may be frustrated with their starts to the FA Women’s Super League this term, but Thursday’s clash offers the chance to give their campaigns an injection of momentum.
This year’s FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup kicks off this week, and while Arsenal have won this competition more than any other side – claiming four titles in five seasons between 2011 and 2015 – London Bees have been involved in their fair share of giant killings in recent times.
Arsenal have not started the league season with the va-va-voom they would have wanted, even after edging out Birmingham City 3-2 on the opening day.
A chastening 5-2 defeat by the in-form Manchester City followed and they were then held 1-1 at home last weekend by Bristol City – with Lauren Hemp's stunning strike costing the Gunners all three points.
But Arsenal finished third in both the last FA WSL and Spring Series campaigns, and have proved themselves to be among the most ruthless teams at the top table – it could be only a matter of time before they catch fire once more.
London Bees meanwhile are yet to claim a point in FA WSL 2 after three straight defeats, but produced one of the shocks of last season as they dumped Chelsea out of the Continental Tyres Cup in the first round – Merrick Will hitting the winning spot-kick.
Arsenal and the Bees have never met in league football, but have locked horns twice in the Continental Tyres Cup – with the last meeting coming back in 2015.
The Gunners won that night, but had to come from behind against a resilient Bees outfit after Amber Gaylor gave them an early lead at the Hive.
A second-half fightback inspired by Spanish substitutes Marta Corredera and Natalia Pablos Sanchon saw them win 3-1.
That result was a marked improvement on the year previous for the Bees, with Turid Knaak and Alex Scott both grabbing doubles in a 7-0 Arsenal triumph.
ONE TO WATCH – Beth Mead (Arsenal)
Summer signing from Sunderland, Beth Mead, started the first game of the season against Birmingham, but has since had to make do with two appearances off the bench.
The forward could well be given the chance to impress against London Bees and will be desperate to make her mark and force he way into Pedro Martínez Losa’s starting XI on a regular basis.
WHAT THEY SAID
London Bees captain Emma Beckett said: “We’re looking forward to playing Arsenal midweek – who wouldn’t?
“As a player you love to play against the best teams and players in the world and that’s what it’s all about.
“It’s a great opportunity for the youngsters that we’ve just signed and the ones coming through the ranks to get to know what the calibre of the top league is like.
“It’s a good experience. Obviously we’d like to come away with a win, we don’t fear any challenge.”
Danielle Van de Donk, Arsenal midfielder, added: “I find every opponent a nice challenge. It's a chance to shine and we need to take that.
“We want prizes. The league is going to be hard to win, but the FA Cup and the Continental Tyres Cup are going to be great to go for, so everyone is positive about getting started against London Bees on Thursday.
“I don't know too much about London Bees, with them being in FA WSL 2, but I reckon it will be physical and they will give us a hard time.
“We need to be calm and get a bit sharper.”
To buy tickets to an FA Women’s Super League match near you click here: www.fawsl.com/tickets
By Train: St Pancras International to Elstree and Borehamwood. When you come out of the train station, turn right and walk down Borehamwood High Street until you come to McDonalds on your left. Turn left into Brook Road.
By Bus: From the station take the 292 towards Colindale Asda and you need to get off at the Elstree Studio Stop.
By Car: Take the A1 towards London from M25, first turn off for Boreham Wood, head for town centre, into Brook Road at roundabout before town centre, Broughinge road is the second right after the public car park.
Parking: There is no parking at Borehamwood FC on Match days. There is a pay & display car park adjacent to the ground which has plenty of parking. Brook Road car park, Brook Road, Borehamwood, WD6 5HJ