The Arsenal Ladies Development team started their season with an emphatic 13-2 win against Yeovil Town Ladies Development team.
The Glovers were unable to field a full side due to multiple injuries, and had players called up to play for their first team against Everton Ladies. They started the game with just ten players and unfortunately had to withdraw a player at half-time due to an injury, so played the second half with nine players.
They were so short of players that they played a goalkeeper in an outfield position, and she amazingly scored from 40 yards in the second half.
The Arsenal starting XI was: Augustus; Ritchie-Williams, Wubben-Moy, Sampson, Cowley; Brunton-Wilde, Allen, Humphrey; Clarke(c), Dean, Kelly.
Subs used: Devlin for Allen, Parker for Ritchie-Williams, Stojko-Down for Bruton-Wilde.
The goals were scored by Kelly (4), Dean (4), Humphrey (3), Clarke (2)
The game was not really competitive but Yeovil gave it a good go, scoring one goal when they were playing with 10 and another when they were down to 9. The game was already won by half-time, with the scoreline 7-1 at the break.
With Yeovil down to nine players, you would have expected the coaching staff to make changes and give a game to three subs as quickly as possible. You have an 11 v 9 situation and a game already won, why not give game time to the substitutes? Particularly in a development team game. Ultimately, it was disappointing to see the substitutions come as late as they did.
There was also a recurring issue which was also seen last season, with a player having an attitude and clearly showing a lack of respect to the opposition and the game with some trickery and play.
In contrast to this, senior players like Humphrey and Sampson, both 20-years-old, led by example and performed according to the highest standard needed to play for the first team. There is a huge gap between the first team and the development team level and the young girls will hopefully carry on improving during the season.
Overall, it was a good victory that will give some confidence to the attacking players who created and scored some quality goals. The development team are now top of the table on goal difference and their next game will be on the 11th of October away to Yeovil Town.
My player of the match was Chloe Brunton-Wilde who was very disciplined in her role as a defensive midfielder and gave a mature display on Sunday afternoon.