With the Ladies’ first team season now finished, attention turns to the Youth sides with the development and u17 sides involved in cup games this week-end.
The Center of Excellence u17 won their FA Girls Youth Cup first round game against Millwall Lionesses by eight goals to one.
The game was not as easy as the scoreline suggests. Arsenal scored early in the game to settle the team quickly.
Then the game became stale for a while, before the first dubious decision from the referee. Arsenal were given a corner while it was an obvious goal kick. Arsenal scored directly from that corner with a great inswinger and the wind’s help. At 2-0, it became very difficult for Millwall to come back into the game.
The referee got a lot of abuse from parents alongside me and every decision was jeered. Arsenal scored a third goal from another right sided corner, then came the second controversial moment.
A Millwall forward was sent through, she went round the Arsenal goalie who clipped her leg. Referee gave the obvious penalty and nothing else. Clear DOGSO for me and at 3-1 with 10 players and more than half a game to play it could have been a different game but there wasn’t even a booking.
Instead Arsenal scored again from another inswinging corner with the same player heading again past the poor goalie.
At half-time the score was Arsenal four Millwall one. The second half started exactly as the first one with an early Arsenal goal. At 5-1 it was game over.
The second half was still competitive with Millwall playing some combative football throughout the game.
Substitute players were given game time as well when the sixth goal went in. It finished 8-1.
If we compare that side to the u17 side that did the double last season, there might be not as many exceptional talent this year. The best u17s from last year have already been promoted to the first team and got game time.
But this side’s passing game is excellent. Some sequences with one or two touches passing were superb and Arsene Wenger would have liked what we saw.
Let’s hope that generation can do the double for the second season in a row.