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Hello, and welcome to The Women's Football Show. We are at the Academy
Stadium this week, the home of the WSL one champions, the Continental
cup holders and the FA Cup winners. Next on Manchester City's radar is
the Spring Series! Coming up... Could nick Cushing's
side maintained their unbeaten start of the season against bottom of the
table Yeovil? Arsenal could keep title hopes alive
with that game against Birmingham. And after a nightmare at Nottingham,
we talk about that renaissance at Reading.
I will be joined by Rachel Brown Venice throughout the show. Welcome.
An impressive haul of silverware, their eyes on a fourth successive
title in the Spring Series, can they be stopped?
I don't know, maybe the destruction of the FA Cup and the Champions
League for Manchester City, they haven't dominated the Spring Series
and we've got the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool are top of the
table. They are very much in contention for the title alongside
them. It is Yeovil Town who are tasked with putting a dent in
Manchester City's title ambitions, will it be business as usual for the
home side? Mission accomplished! There is a new name! And it is that,
Manchester City Women! Doubles for Manchester City! Two major trophies
in seven days for the team. Manchester City, having victory in
the league and the Continental cup and the FA Cup now in 2017... After
Wembley success, Manchester City now turn their attention to winning the
WSL one Spring Series. By contrast it has been a baptism of
fire for Yeovil, promoted to top tier in the last series but yet you
pick up a point so far in their five games. Some changes to the side that
lifted the trophy at Wembley, only five players keep their places. Dog
owners recalled after scoring a hat-trick in the last Spring Series
game against Bristol City -- Duggan. Yeovil were unfortunate not come
away with something from a game midweek against Bristol, two changes
to their 1-0 defeat there. Natalie Hay coming into defence. And are
starting against her old club. Manchester City now holding all
three domestic trophies... Now, just looking to further add to their
trophy cabinet. Jill Scott going down. We know that the captain likes
to take these... No, it's an own goal! Deauville caught out. --
Yeovil were caught out, Heatherson had to get something on that and
unfortunately, it was not that connection that she wanted. 1-0 to
Manchester City. Duggan looking for Jill Scott... It has gone in! A
terrific finish. Manchester City doubling the lead. Jill Scott scored
in the FA Cup final last time out. She manages to guide this past Walsh
who came out of the goal. A really good finish by the England
international. It's a poor pass from BT. Quinn has a real chance... Lucy
Quinn! A brilliant finish. -- Beattie. Manchester City... Masters
of their own downfall. A dreadful ball by Beattie, but well read by
Lucy Quinn. And a composed finish. Getting Yeovil back into the game,
2-1. Horton to Jill Scott, a lovely ball to Stanway who manages to keep
it in... Jane Ross! With her first goal of the season. Yeovil had done
so well in the last few minutes to keep Manchester City at bay. A
really good move. A defence splitting pass from Scott. Stanway
manages to keep it in, and Ross with the finish. The two goal cushion is
restored. It's a good pass by Walsh, managing to find is Asllani, who
manages to keep the ball. Asllani... So close. It's a chance for Asllani.
I'm sure -- not sure if she was going for the goal or not, either
way, she was nearly caught by the back of the night. Taking aim... So
close to getting a touch from either Ross or Asllani there. Stanway with
the delivery... A good one. Houghton... Off the post and in.
Jane Ross with her second of the afternoon. Leading by 4-1. She just
found herself and marked, Houghton, at the back post. Ross reacted
quickest to put the ball past Walsh. Bronze comes away with it... And
it's a decent looking ball. It is going to be put in I Asllani! --
buyers by Asllani. Yeovil could not deal
with it. A wonderful ball from Bronze in the end. Back into the six
yard area, courtesy of Haigh. Asllani gained from that mix-up
between the goalkeeper and the defence. Her first of the Spring
Series. A chance to get some players forward for Yeovil. A decent
delivery from Bleazard. The goalkeeper does not get there. The
referee has awarded a penalty kick. Eyes whelmed the ball... And she
clattered into Short. Will Ellie Roebuck make amends? And she does,
with an easy save. Uncharacteristically... She does not
beat the goalkeeper. Here it comes... Campbell. It's a good one
again. The referee has decided to send off Carli Lloyd. She was being
held... And she swung her arm in frustration at
Heatherson, a good spot by the referee.
Manchester City's unbeaten run continues in the Spring Series. I'm
delighted to be joined by manager Nick Cushing. The talking point at
the end of the game, Carli Lloyd's red card. Will you appeal that? I
did not see it back and I did not even see it when it happened with
the throw in, especially with Megan's. We put bodies in the box.
The goal area is pretty crowded. I haven't watched it back. We think it
is a red card and respect the decision of the referee. It is not
something that, knowing Carli, she would have done on purpose. It was a
great result on the pitch. You made a few changes, rotating things
around. A massive week this week for Manchester City in terms of the
title and where the Spring Series may go, how pleased were you with
the players that came in today? I said to the players that I wanted a
team who are fresh. But they also need to be fresh for the tournament.
The summer tournament, the Euros. Those who came in played really
well. Another game around the corner. Big weeks have been a common
theme this year. We've had Champions Cup finals,
semifinals, the big games in the Spring Series, we will prepare as we
have been. A word on Yeovil, it would have been
tough them coming home to the WSL champions. Does it show that there
is a gulf? For them, the Spring Series is a chance to show how much
work they need ahead of next season? I think that they will realise that
there is a big golf, you play the top team in the country pretty much
but unfortunately, Yeovil are bottom of the table. They need to work on a
couple of things and in this series they've had the chance to account of
things ahead of the winter series, they need to work on their fitness
and be fit across the board. Recruit and bring in depth and
experience across the division. There are a lot of things they can
implement head of starting in August and September.
Next, thank you for joining us. Arsenal kept their unbeaten run
going midweek with a last-gasp draw against Chelsea, now they faced
Birmingham City who put their FA Cup boys behind them with a win against
Bristol City. Could they get a second win of the season against
Arsenal? COMMENTATOR: Two months ago, Birmingham City stunned the
holders Arsenal in the women's FA Cup quarterfinals. Today, the
Gunners are looking for revenge as they host the Blues in the WSL
Spring Series. Beth Meade makes her first start for Arsenal since
signing from Sunderland in one of three changes for the side that
snapped a dramatic draw at Chelsea on Wednesday. Rachel Williams makes
her first start since re-signing for Birmingham this week after Notts
County folded. One of four changes from the side that beat Bristol
City. Brazil, Sergeant and Williams coming in.
Sargeant... A nice turn from Brazil. Mayling end... What a turn for
Birmingham! Williams with her return to the club, her first start since
re-signing, putting Birmingham City ahead inside of 60 seconds. It's
absolutely remarkable! Again, a loose ball from Arsenal. Williams is
in... Touched over by Moorhouse. A good save. But again, there is so
much space for Birmingham. Arsenal with sloppy play. Williams with the
corner for Birmingham... Back across, Brazil could not apply that
final touch. Still alive... Data Mayling's ball going off the bar...
No. So close for Birmingham. Mayling with the ball, and westward crashing
it on the underside of the crossbar. Did it cross the line? It is so
close. -- Westwood. Headed away... Collected... Carter wins the free
kick. Dan Carter going down, and the challenge of Brazil. Williams to
fire at in off the bar... Back in by van de Donk. Carter misses.
Birmingham get it away. Birmingham striking the woodwork at one end,
Williams was so close at the other. Mead doing well... The ball goes
through to Heather O'Reilly for Arsenal... It's a lovely finish.
Arsenal 1-1 Birmingham. It is a quality composed goal. From
American, Heather O'Riley. A lovely ball from Danielle van de Donk.
O'Reilly checked her composure to level. Carter... Away from Jess
Carter. Playing it through, looking for van de Donk... In for Arsenal...
Weaving Arsenal the lead. -- giving Arsenal the lead. A good goal from
van de Donk, a brilliant ball from the England striker Dan Carter.
Working around Baggaley and finishing to put Arsenal 2-1 up
against Arsenal. Well intercepted by Williams... Bringing it forward...
Hegerberg. Brazil... Getting away from Williams. Space for the cross.
Anticipated by Moorhouse but she did not get there in time. It is bundled
home. A good ball in from page Williams, and Rachel Williams with a
brave header. Her second of the game.
Patten past Carter. Going down, Arsenal with the free kick. Carter
is aghast, she feels like she got the ball. And it looks like she did.
Swinging in the free kick, Nobbs. Quinn gets in there. Arsenal
retaking the lead. Louise Quinn gets her first goal for the club. Off the
bench as a substitute, heading Arsenal back in front. They now lead
Birmingham City by 3-2. Nobbs... Picked up by van de Donk. Going for
an Arsenal corner. Nobbs to take... Looking for Quinn
again. He gets there. -- she gets there. Two goals for Louise Quinn,
sealing the win for Arsenal. 4-2 against Birmingham City.
I was delighted, it's probably the first time in my career that I have
scored two headers in a short amount of time. The girls did a lot of
groundwork. Jordan and I were playing great balls. I was happy.
Looking at those conceded goals, any football person can see they are not
good enough, they need to be tightened up. It comes from team
ether scoring forward. There's a lot for us to do, we need to change the
whole ethos of the club. It will happen. But there are a lot of
positive things to come out as well. Rachel, we were at Sunderland for
the first game for Arsenal at the Spring Series, some teething
problems but they'd bring this season?
Yes, they had a lot of possession and play down the wings. They were
not clinical in the final third but they picked up speed. The likes of
Danielle van de Donk, Taylor did not play much last season and scoring
this season. You can see they are moving in the right direction,
Arsenal are getting goals and goals and goals. Exciting to see.
Birmingham have plenty of positives, not least Williams's performance.
Great to see her scoring goals with such energy? Yes, nice to see her at
her old club. It is great to see her back at Birmingham and I'm sure for
both parties, she is a real powerhouse upfront. Birmingham City
fans will be really excited to see what she's got for the rest of the
year. A transition period with a change of manager at Birmingham.
David Parker had been there a long time, how do you assess what
direction they are moving and of Mike Skinner? A lot of changes on
and off the pitch. Skinner is a young manager, his first job in the
WSL, he is the nominal and the girls are responding on the pitch. They
are energised, I've heard his training methods are unique but it
really is players. I think that he has done a phenomenal job and it's a
wonderful experience, having the FA Cup final and his belt already.
Indeed, two more games, is Liverpool faced Bristol City on Saturday
evening. Liverpool travel to Stoke Gifford looking to build on their 18
goals in their last five matches but the visitors were held by the Vixens
in the second half. Longhurst frustrated in front of the dugout.
Working with a yellow card from the referee. However, at 81 minutes,
Harding with a good combination towards the right. Neatly flicked in
by the substitute, finishing well. It was not plain sailing for
Liverpool. The side fought back instantly... Siobhan Chamberlain was
forced to palm the ball to Arthur, and Sophie Ingle was blocking the
shot. Liverpool's defence was eventually breached in the 85th
minute, a quickly taken corner causing confusion in the penalty
area. Agg rescuing a much-needed point. There was still time for
Longhurst to pick up a second yellow, seeing red after bundling
Agg to the ground with a minute on the clock. Rolling her out of
Sunday's crucial trip to Chelsea, an error that could cause properly --
that could be costly to Liverpool in the long run. Chelsea were aiming to
capitalise on Liverpool's drop point with a win at Sunderland. It came in
style. This run split open by Maren Mjelde. This long ball was not dealt
with by the Sunderland defence. Karen Carney did not need asking
twice. A second goal for her in the Spring Series. It got worse for the
Wearsiders, three minutes later... Norwegian Captain Maren Mjelde was
set up for a slick move, making it three. By now, any haze's Chelsea
were rampant and Sunderland's recent good form was evaporating fast. The
scorer of the fourth worst Ramona Bachmann. Ripping the home side
apart again, Maren Mjelde. A devastating first 45 completed for
the hosts. The last thing Sunderland needed to see was Fran Kirby's
long-awaited return from injury. Her last goal came against the Black
Cats in June 2016, and it took her only 23 minutes for her to repeat
that feat. The injury lay-off clearly did not plunder her
sharpness in front of the goal as her second wrapped up an impressive
7-0 victory, closing the gap on Liverpool to four points with two
games in hand. They meet next week. Despite dropping two points,
Liverpool are still leading the way. Chelsea's thumping win moving them
up to second. Yet the last a lot the bottom,
looking for their first points of the series.
-- Yeovil. Another incredibly impressive attacking display from
Chelsea, the new signings on the scoresheet and welcoming back Fran
Kirby? Yes, it is like a new signing! In that off-season may have
had some fantastic signings. With Kaufman it, Ramona Bachmann, these
names keep growing. They are free-flowing and a force to be
reckoned with. Going under the radar a little bit.
Manchester City are at the forefront in the Champions League with the FA
Cup final but Chelsea must be contenders for this, with the moving
into the next season? 100%. They are hitting form, everyone has gelled
together. They are certainly contenders and it is going to be a
really interesting run in these last four games.
Certainly. Nine teams competing in the Spring Series after the
liquidation of Notts County on the eve of the start of the campaign.
Earlier this week the FA made an announcement regarding the
replacements ahead of the new season.
From September, WSL One will continue with ten teams, ensuring
there are even numbers in both divisions. The PSL Two was due to
have 11 teams next season but will stay at ten, with the women of the
women's Premier League final receiving promotion to the division.
They, along with existing second-tier clubs are able to apply
for the remaining place in WSL One. As clubs had not been aware at the
start of the season a place would be available and the importance of
clubs able to compete in the top division, it was decided the phone
application process should be taken. Therefore, despite Everton clinching
the WSL Two Spring Series title at London Bees yesterday, the Toffees
will not get automatic promotion. With WSL Two completed, they need to
submit applications by Tuesday the 30th of May, with clubs having to
demonstrate how they will need additional license criteria.
Quite a lot to get your head around with that statement.
Is this the right way of going about it? Throughout locations? I think
so, at the beginning of the two series, nobody knew that winning the
Spring Series would mean they got promotion. It's out the question, to
have that. The FA have set in a business structure and a criteria
that every team has to meet, the team has to submit an application to
become a WSL One team, the FA can look at those applications and see
who is the best candidate to get into WSL One to give them a chance
of staying there. Only 5% of the criteria is on the field, is that
surprising or expected, given what happened with Notts County? I think
it is expected. First and foremost any team going into WSL One needs to
be stable from a business perspective.
Of course we want that team going up to be exciting and full of flair,
and to be really fit, and be a good product on the pitch. But I do think
that you can imagine that is the whole reason the WSL was set up six
years ago, to ensure stability of clubs. I think that will be first
and foremost. Your former team won the Spring Series for WSL Two
yesterday. You must build they got a good chance in the application
process, and a quick word on their celebrations yesterday?
They walk T-shirts with sowing time in's name on it, it would have been
her 19th birthday? Yes, she came through the ranks at
Everton, everybody knew Zoe and was affected by her passing last year.
But on the football side of things, with Everton, they wonder Spring
Series, and clearly they are one of the best candidates from a football
player perspective. Everton were in the top division for so many years.
Quality wise and structure rise, they are a great candidate for WSL
One but it is a fair process -- structure wise.
We expect that decision to be made in early June. Joan muir and Porter
would have been lining up for Notts County this weekend but now they are
Reading players with a free weekend after the demise of their former
club. What better way to spend it than to meet Joe Curry and talk
about that roller-coaster that has been the last month or so?
We cannot end it now, we started the FA Cup. We've got Arsenal on Sunday,
the prep is done. The worst cases they will tell as after the Spring
Series that's it, we've got two months to sort our lights out.
Little did we know... -- lives out. You only want to play football.
Everything goes through your head. How long can we not play for? When
you don't really have any answers coming back, it is difficult to
relax. And go, it is going to be OK. You don't actually know. As players,
when did you get an inkling that something was not right...? Three
days before the league started. We were meant to play Arsenal on the
Sunday and we got a text on eight at ten o'clock on a Thursday night,
saying "Training is cancelled tomorrow, there's a meeting at 11
o'clock and everyone must attend". Who broke the news? The men's CEO, a
man called Jason. He took me into a room and said being a club captain
and PFA delegate, he said it was right to tell us first and break the
news. I looked at Jade and bass, Jade looks very angry. He knew that
there was something not right. As soon is Jason started talking, his
hands were shaking and voice was trembling. He said, I don't know how
to say this, but as of 11 o'clock today, the club, the ladies side, is
being liquidated. It's people's livelihoods. It is our jobs and
houses. It ruins everyone states of lies at that time, all in a
completely different way. Some of the girls are still dealing with
that emotion now. They had no answers some ago OK, we can't play
for Notts County ladies, can we play for someone else? I don't know. That
was the answer I got. I said it was not good enough. You've just come in
and dropped a bomb with no real answers. You are both in Mark
Sampson's England squad for the Euros, and as England players, did
you pick up the phone to him and say, what do we do? That was one of
the first thing's that we did. He said, don't worry about it. He has
all of the faith in the world with us and we'll sort it out, we will do
our best in this situation. How and when did you find out that
you would be allowed to move to other clubs? It was only the
deregistration holding us back from actually signing for someone else,
and moving on. We were told that we needed to print off these forms,
sign it, and get it sent back as soon as possible and once it was
done, we were free agents. We went to the library to print up our paper
as we didn't have a printer in the house. Signed it, scanned it, sent
it in. Got a confirmation e-mail and we were free agents.
We sat there and went, what do we do now? Come on, need more from you!
Talk to me about how this move to Reading came about for both of you?
Before I signed for Notts County, I spoke to Reading, and I was very
impressed. As soon as we got the news, I said it was only right that
I came and spoke to Kelly again. I was so impressed last time. If they
wanted to still offer a contract I would be very interested. My
decision was more based on the training environment. Work it
sharper, come on! When we came in they said, I cannot guarantee play
minutes but can guarantee a competitive environment. That was a
plus for us. The girls are feisty and hungry for success. Step into
it! Don't step too early! The England men's team used to train
here and it is incredible. There are other sports training here to? Yes,
you can walk past the hockey and rugby girls, they are training at
there and it is great for the place. It feels good, and I think that was
one of the first thing is that, when I came down, I thought I could see
myself here. Speaking to Kelly, she is very much down-to-earth. She is
very much a people person and you can sit and talk to her. It's a real
pull for me. In terms of club football, moving forward, what are
your ambitions? What do you want to achieve? I still want to be
competitive. It was a big reason for moving to Reading. We saw the
potential that they had. We went to the Wembley game the other day and
watched Birmingham and Manchester City, and you think, this is what I
want be doing it again. Playing on the biggest stage is something that
everyone wants. And something we can definitely achieve here. What a
goal! Jade Moore with an absolute screamer! We needed competitive
training and match minutes, which is exactly what we've got here.
Hopefully that will springboard us into the Euros.
They mentioned in that the TV facilities that Reading have an
potential Basie there. Are they the kinds of players that Reading should
be trying to attract to push them on? It's exactly what Reading
needed. They have fantastic facilities and I think Kelly
Chambers has done a remarkable job in how she organises the team. They
needed a bit of experience. Bringing in two England international is kind
of fits perfectly. As Joe and Jade said there, it is reciprocal,
working for both parties. It has been an incredible job that Kelly
has been involved in there. Is this almost the hardest part?
Going a last bit and try to break into a top four all top five at the
moment? I think you are right. She's done a great job to establish
Reading. They have a style of football, and identity. I think it
is really important for a team coming up. She has pushed on but,
for them to go full-time would be the next step. Across the board. But
I think they've got the facilities. They seem to have the direction a
club aspiring to mix it with the top three or four, and it ticked all the
boxes. They did. That's about it from us.
We are back next Sunday but before then, some BBC dates for your
diary... We retread this year's road to
Wembley ahead of the men's cup final...
There is live commentary from Stockholm as Manchester United and
Ajax contest the Europa League final... And on Thursday, Manchester
City and Chelsea go head-to-head as the race to become the WSL Spring
Series champions continues. That should be an absolutely
cracking match. Rachel, thank you for joining me today and from both
of us, goodbye. FUNKY MUSIC
Step in the arena, Arsenal, Chelsea.
We've scrapped, scored, hurt, humbled.
Never back down. Never look back.