Sunday 1 November 2015

Nobbs: Crucial Arsenal didn't finish season without a trophy

Jordan Nobbs scored twice as the Gunners beat Notts County 3-0 in the Continental Tyres Cup final

FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup match
15:00, Sunday 1 November 2015
AESSEAL New York Stadium

Two-goal hero Jordan Nobbs stressed it was vital Arsenal didn’t finish the season without a trophy as the Gunners won a fourth FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup title in five years.

Arsenal ensured they continued their run of more than a decade since they last ended a season without a trophy thanks to Nobbs’ first-half goals and Chioma Ugobaba’s late finish.

Nobbs’ goals sandwiched the sending off of Notts County captain Laura Bassett but the Arsenal midfielder believes the three-goal winning margain reflected their determination to win.

“It’s been a tough time for us,” Nobbs admitted. “It was disappointing to finish third in the league, so to win that trophy was crucial to us.

“We need to make sure we’re not coming third in the league again next year. We don’t feel like we’ve let anybody down, but we really needed to come home with that trophy to show to everyone that we’re still fighting for every single thing.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve done as a team in this tournament and I was very determined to get a goal – luckily two of them have come off.

“The three goals we scored show how determined we were to win the trophy.”

Notts County were quickest to settle into their rhythm at Rotherham United’s AESSEAL New York Stadium, and Bassett could have scored after ten minutes when she found space in the area but Sari van Veenendaal saved well.

Nobbs opened the scoring midway through the half though, racing inside from the right after Dominique Janssen’s through ball to slot in from a tight angle.

Bassett then saw red on 34 minutes for a lunging tackle on Vicky Losada which, despite the England defender getting the ball, was deemed reckless by referee Jane Simms.

Nobbs’ second arrived on 41 minutes, the midfielder firing a rising shot into the top corner from 25 yards out.

And Chioma Ubogagu sealed victory in stoppage time with a superb solo goal, cutting inside from the left-wing before her low shot trickled beyond England goalkeeper Carly Telford.

Notts County did have chances in the game, as Rachel Williams headed against the bar for in first-half stoppage time and team-mate Desiree Scott volleyed just over on 80 minutes.

Lady Pies’ boss Rick Passmoor said: “The red card changed the game. My view was that it was a strong, centre-half challenge.

“She might have been pulled with the trailing leg but there were no studs raised.

“It has changed the game completely but, saying that, how many chances have we had to score?

“The girls have put in an absolutely superb effort and on another day we’d have come out victorious – 3-0 is not a fair reflection of the game.

“We’re disappointed that as a team we have to wait so long to put things right but I’m immensely proud of the players. We now want to be better.”

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Arsenal (4-1-4-1): Sari van Veenendaal; Dominique Janssen, Jemma Rose, Casey Stoney, Leah Williamson; Jade Bailey; Rachel Yankey, Vicky Losada, Jordan Nobbs, Marta Corredera; Natalia

Substitutes: Chioma Ubogagu for Natalia 75, Chloe Kelly for Corredera 86, Vyan Sampson for Rachel Yankey 89

Substitutes not used: Emma Byrne, Carla Humphrey, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Georgia Allen

Bookings: Marta Corredera (61), Chloe Kelly (90)

Red Cards: none

Notts County (4-3-3): Carly Telford; Sophie Walton, Laura Bassett, Alex Greenwood, Amy Turner; Danielle Buet, Desiree Scott, Leanne Crichton; Rachel Williams, Ellen White, Jess Clarke

Substitutes: Fern Whelan for Crichton 44, Aileen Whelan for Walton 66, Laura-Jayne O’Neill for Williams 83

Substitutes not used: Olivia Walker, Ashleigh Plumptre, Alice Hassall

Bookings: Alex Greenwood (32), Aileen Whelan (77)

Red Cards: Laura Bassett (34)

Referee: Jane Simms

Attendance: 5,028