The FA Women’s Super League and Championship – Previews – Fixtures – Saturday/ Sunday, October 10/11

Saturday, October 10

FA Women’s Super League

Tottenham Hotspur Women v Manchester United Women (12:30pm)

Tottenham Hotspur face an equally awkward test when they face ‘the other half’ of Manchester on Saturday at The Hive.

The Lilywhites were comprehensively beaten 4-1 at Manchester City last time out and now face a United side bolstered by the impressive pre-season signings of Lucy Staniforth, Ona Batlle and Ivana Fuso.

Spurs battled gamely in the North-West. Head Coach, Juan Amoros, told www.tottenhamhotspur.com: “I think we were in the game, limiting their chances and sticking to our game plan but I think there’s a key moment there in the first half where Kit (Graham) goes down and they score, we go in at half-time, it was obviously a mountain to climb because you are 1-0 down but it was in the plan that we could be in that scenario and the girls came out well, but then suddenly there was another hit against us which was the penalty. 

At the end of the day, it’s football and when you go 2-0 down it’s a difficult place to play, then we conceded a couple more and that’s never good but I think the resilience was still there, the girls kept going, got that goal back and in the last few minutes of the game I think we did well. For us, the work ethic is the base – we need to make sure we work hard and we work for each other from start to finish, whatever the result is, and I’m pretty confident to say that the girls did that today.”

Manchester United arrive unbeaten in their three FAWSL outings, while Spurs have claimed a single point from the same number of games.

Sunday, October 11

FA Women’s Super League

Brighton & Hove Albion Women v Arsenal Women (12:30pm)

League leaders, Arsenal, will expect to make it four out of four FAWSL victories at Brighton, despite not having it all their own way against rock-bottom Bristol City last week.

The Gunners were stunned by Abi Harrison’s opener for the Robins, then came up against an inspirational Sophie Baggaley in the City goal.

But despite Baggaley’s heroics, Arsenal hit back through Jordan Nobbs, Caitlin Foord and Vivianne Miedema to claim the points, although 

Gunners manager, Joe Montemurro, was mindful of the visitors’ efforts: “All credit to Bristol, they were very compact, very difficult to break down. We had to pick our moments and be patient,” he told www.arsenal.com.

“When you don’t get an important result midweek, sometimes that emotion can take over. But I’m proud of the players, they kept their heads, kept their emotions and continued to do what was needed to be done to break down a very organised team.

Montemurro continued: “The goal came from an error on our behalf and a very good finish from their striker. They’re things that happen in football, errors, we all make them, but it was more the reaction to continue to play, to look for the openings and be patient for when the opportunity came. It was always going to be tough to break down such an organised team it needed a change of tempo and a little bit of patience.

“There was a bit of positional elements we worked on, areas we thought we could find some spaces, at half time, but we all knew that the speed of play had to be lifted at times. But it was more about being professional and patient, and waiting for our opportunities.”

Hosts Brighton have made a steady start to the season but were beaten 3-0 at Manchester United last time out.

Everton Women v West Ham United Women (1pm)

A series of missed opportunities proved costly as West Ham United’s wait for an FAWSL victory continues.

Reading goalkeeper, Grace Moloney, rebuffed everything the East Londoners threw at her, including a second-half spot-kick from Kenza Dali.

Nevertheless, the Hammers Australian stopper, Mackenzie Arnold, thought her side deserved more following Lauren Bruton’s winner for the Royals. 

“I think we played quite well, to be fair,” she told West Ham TV. 

“I think we deserved a lot more than the loss we’ve got. Unfortunately, for their goal, we switched off, but I felt we dominated for the majority of the game. 

“I think the game became quite transitional and it opened up a lot in the middle of the park. Reading were able to capitalise on that when we switched off. There’s a lot of things we can work on to fix that. We just need to tighten that up and then, finish off our chances, and we’re in a good spot.

“We just have to focus on the next game now.”

West Ham now face a difficult test against an Everton side with three wins from three and yet to concede a league goal. The Toffees warmed up for the clash with a resounding 6-0 victory over Aston Villa at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium.

Chelsea Women v Manchester City Women (2:30pm)

Champions Chelsea overcame their recent Women’s FA Cup disappointment by returning to FAWSL winning ways against a tough Birmingham City side.

The Blues sit third ahead of Sunday’s mammoth clash with Manchester City, in the knowledge, a victory will open up a three-point gap over last seasons runners-up.

Speaking to www.thefa.com after their single-goal success in the West Midlands, match-winner, Fran Kirby, said: “We always knew it was going to be a difficult game. We’ve watched them and they defend really well, especially inside their box. We had to try to come up with something different. 

“Obviously scoring from a set-piece is always nice because we work on them a lot. They were really defensively solid and we struggled to break them down, but ultimately we’re happy to get the win, get the clean sheet and the three points.

“We always want to be creating chances and scoring more goals, but the most important thing is getting the three points. If we score one goal and get the three points, it’s still a positive and we need to see it as a positive.

“We got the clean sheet and the three points, which is the most important thing at the end of the day. Ultimately we’re happy with the three points regardless of whether it’s 1-0, 5-0 or 9-0. We have to get the three points and that’s what we did.”

City hammered Spurs 4-1 last time out – they are currently below the West Londoners on goal difference and will be keen to avenge last seasons finish to the FAWSL season which saw Chelsea named as champions, one place ahead of City, on sporting merit. The FA Board deciding to award places on a points-per-game basis after the leagues’ early curtailment because of the COVID outbreak

Elsewhere in the FA Women’s Super League…

Bristol City Women v Aston Villa Women (2pm)

Reading Women v Birmingham City Women (2pm)

FA Women’s Championship

Durham Women v Crystal Palace Women (Noon)

Lewes Women v Blackburn Ladies (Noon)

Coventry United Ladies v Sheffield United Women (2pm)

Leicester City Women v Liverpool Women (2pm)

London City Lionesses v London Bees (2pm)

FA Women’s National League – Northern Premier Division

Burnley Women v Hull City Ladies (2pm)

Middlesbrough Ladies v Huddersfield Town Ladies (2pm)

Nottm Forest Ladies v Loughborough Foxes WFC (2pm)

Sheffield Ladies v Derby Ladies (2pm)

Sunderland Ladies v Fylde Ladies (2pm)

West Bromwich Albion WFC v Stoke Ladies (2pm)

FA Women’s National League – Southern Premier Division

Chichester City Ladies v Keynsham Ladies (2pm)

Crawley Wasps Ladies v Watford Ladies (2pm)

Hounslow WFC v Oxford United Women (2pm)

MK Dons Ladies v Gillingham Ladies (2pm)

Portsmouth Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies

Yeovil Town Women v Cardiff Ladies (2pm)

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]