Arsenal’s Women’s team returns to Meadow Park – and winning ways!
In a blog a while back, we looked forward to returning to Meadow Park. Today was the day – and it was almost business as usual. Full stadium (albeit a tenth of what the Emirates has accommodated for the previous ‘home’ matches), players almost within touching distance, and a win. And from this writer’s perspective, well deserved. City have given Arsenal a few problems in recent seasons, but outstanding defensive displays largely nullified the threat from Hemp, Kelly and Shaw.
You can read a full report here, but it was a brilliantly executed shot from Catley that put us a goal ahead and but for a penalty save by City’s ‘keeper Keating, our team would have been two up in the first half. But it remained 1-0 until, late in the second half, an outrageous deflection of an Arsenal clearance disorientated our defence. The wildly spinning ball careened back into the Arsenal six yard box and spun mesmerisingly on the penalty spot. It was City’s Kelly who reached it first, to stab it into the net. 1-1. City grew stronger and threatened to steal the game away, but a disasterous misjudgement from the aforementioned heroine, City goalkeeper Keating, allowed Blackstenius the chance to ram home the winner.
But it was an exciting end-to-end match and one that felt altogether better for being at Borehamwood. This is somewhat ironic as AISA has pressed for years for WSL matches to be played at ‘the home of football’ in N5 (we first raised it with Joe Montemurro – that long ago!) but it just feels good to be back. Views anyone? Let us know.
A couple of negatives.
Long gone are the days of the Lunch Box. Shame. There were always queues if you timed it wrongly, but today was as bad as it’s ever been, despite the shiny new catering facilities. The stadium really should look again at its catering. In the meantime, our recommendation – if you’re hungry – is to arrive early and buy something and eat it before arriving. There’s even a Wimpy bar on the walk from the station!
And entry itself: the organisation today was terrible (and not for the first time). A queue for the north turnstiles extended the length of the ground. It turned out that it was only for those with bags, but at the time of this writer’s entry, nobody was letting on. So a tip if you’re going on Thursday: if you don’t bring a bag, you can jump the long queue. But entry really needs sorting. That’s on thing better than at the Emirates.
Everyone at AISA hopes the supporter whose illness stopped the game for several minutes is well and fully recovered.
Any thoughts on the return to Meadow Park? Let us know.