Live Blog: Arsenal Women kick off FA Cup campaign against Watford

Three players on loan from Arsenal feature for Watford, whilst new signing Emily Fox is set to make her debut for the Gunners



Live Blog: Arsenal Women kick off FA Cup campaign against Watford

Arsenal will wear the 'No More Red' kit at Meadow Park. Credit- @cardyfreddie


Live BLog Sunday Jan 14th

  1. 14:57 #3629

    Keep an eye out for my player ratings and post match reaction, to come shortly.

  2. 14:57 #3628

    Keep an eye out for my player ratings and post match reaction, to come shortly.

  3. 14:56 #3627

    Celebrations are subdued however as Beth Mead is down injured after being the victim of a strong challenge.

  4. 14:56 #3626

    Full time: Arsenal 5-1 Watford!

  5. 14:54 #3625

    90+4' A swift counter attack ends with Blackstenius flashing the ball just wide of the far post. 5-1

  6. 14:53 #3624

    90+3' Blackstenius meets Lacasse's low cross and Goldsmid gets down low to make a strong save with her feet. 5-1

  7. 14:51 #3623

    90+1' Five minutes of additional time. 5-1

  8. 14:49 #3622

    89' Goal! Arsenal 5-1 Watford Blackstenius’ low ball into the box is only cleared as far as Maanum, who finds the far corner! 5-1

  9. 14:47 #3621

    86' Goal! Arsenal 4-1 Watford: Ilestedt rises high at the back post and heads home Arsenal’s fourth from a corner! 4-1

  10. 14:44 #3620

    84' Mead wins the ball back up high and plays Maanum through on goal, but there was Reid to make the block. 3-1

  11. 14:42 #3619

    82' Blackstenius is in behind but the flag goes up as she sees her effort saved. 3-1

  12. 14:41 #3618

    81' 3,739 in attendance at a sold-out Meadow Park. 3-0

  13. 14:40 #3617

    80' Watford captain Georgiou is replaced by Fleming, with Haines withdrawn for Johns. 3-0

  14. 14:38 #3616

    78' Goal! It’s Arsenal loanee Michelle Agyemang who scores against her parent club after Lotte Wubben-Moy gave the ball away playing out from the back! No celebration at all from the striker. 3-1

  15. 14:37 #3615

    77' Lafayette looks for Agyemang but Ilestedt comes across to defend. 3-0

  16. 14:35 #3614

    75' Another good stop by Goldsmid to deny Lacasse- she has been pivotal in keeping the score down for Watford, 3-0

  17. 14:33 #3613

    73' Blackstenius is played through again and draws another excellent save out of Goldsmid. 3-0

  18. 14:31 #3612

    70' KCC sees her powerful strike blocked. 3-0

  19. 14:28 #3611

    68' Allison Palisch comes on for Florence Fyfe. 3-0

  20. 14:27 #3610

    66' Goal! Arsenal 3-0 Watford: Moments after coming on, Stina Blackstenius runs in behind and finishes well past the goalkeeper! 3-0

  21. 14:25 #3609

    64' Miedema, Foord, Walti and Russo are replaced by Maanum, Lacasse, Blackstenius and Cooney-Cross. 2-0

  22. 14:23 #3608

    63' Fox takes aim on her left foot but fires wide from range. 2-0

  23. 14:23 #3607

    63' Harbert wins the ball back and brings it forward- excellent from the youngster on loan from Arsenal but again Watford cannot mount a serious attack. 2-0

  24. 14:22 #3606

    62' McCabe floats in a corner, it skims the head of a Watford player and then a second corner comes to nothing. 2-0

  25. 14:19 #3605

    58' Abbie Lafayette comes on for Lucia Leon. 2-0

  26. 14:18 #3604

    58' Miedema again sees her shot blocked, trying to curl it in from the corner of the area. It drops to Mead but she fires high and wide, out towards the car park. 2-0

  27. 14:17 #3603

    57' Watford make their first change as Sophie McLane comes on for Anne Meiwald. 2-0

  28. 14:14 #3602

    53' Mead cuts onto her left foot and goes for goal, but her shot is blocked on the edge of the box. Fox then crosses for Miedema who can only find the side-netting. 2-0

  29. 14:14 #3601

    53' Mead cuts onto her left foot and goes for goal, but her shot is blocked on the edge of the box. Fox then crosses for Miedema who can only find the side-netting. 2-0

  30. 14:10 #3600

    50' A well-compiled Watford attack ends at the feet of Zinsberger. Arsenal break, Mead flashes the ball across goal and Foord is denied by Goldsmid at her near post. Great save. 2-0

  31. 14:08 #3599

    48' Miedema plays through Foord in behind but the offside flag is raised. 2-0

  32. 14:05 #3598

    46' Back underway for the second half! 2-0

  33. 14:02 #3597

    Arsenal are back out first for the second half.

  34. 14:01 #3596

    Out of the Arsenal loanees representing Watford, Michelle Agyemang has caused some problems for the Arsenal backline but has lacked service from her midfielders. Katie Reid has been excellent at the back for the Hornets.

  35. 13:55 #3595

    Elsewhere in the fourth round, Chelsea trail 1-0 at home to West Ham and Arsenal loanee Freya Godfrey has scored a penalty to put Charlton Athletic 3-1 up against Ipswich Town.

  36. 13:51 #3594

    Russo and Walti put Arsenal in control inside 12 minutes but Watford have battled well and played their football when the game has allowed. Arsenal should have scored more, with Russo hitting the crossbar after missing a good chance moments earlier.

  37. 13:49 #3593

    Half time: Arsenal 2-0 Watford.

  38. 13:48 #3592

    45+4' Miedema finds McCabe who goes wide to Russo. Her cross is headed away before Fox plays the ball astray for a throw-in. 2-0

  39. 13:47 #3591

    45+3' Arsenal have a corner at the end of the first half. It drops for Pelova and her cushioned volley is blocked on the edge of the box. 2-0

  40. 13:46 #3590

    45+1' Three minutes of added time. 2-0

  41. 13:45 #3589

    44' Off the crossbar from Russo! Miedema skips through the defence but Russo's shot is smashed onto the upright. 2-0

  42. 13:42 #3588

    42' Goldsmid gets caught on the ball high up the pitch. It's taken around her by Miedema, who gets a shot away but it's blocked by the last defender. 2-0

  43. 13:41 #3587

    41' Leon gets forward for Watford and her cross is blocked by McCabe for the away side's first corner. They go short and it's given away, straight to Mead. 2-0

  44. 13:40 #3586

    41' Very nearly a third for Arsenal as Russo gets into the box but just drags her shot wide. 2-0

  45. 13:39 #3585

    40' Arsenal loanee Katie Reid defends well up against Emily Fox. Miedema sprints into the box to get a shot away but it's well blocked. 2-0

  46. 13:35 #3584

    36' Some very risky playing out from the back from Watford gifts Arsenal a corner. McCabe's corner is flicked on and cleared off the line! 2-0

  47. 13:33 #3583

    34' McCabe sees her shot blocked inside the box. 2-0

  48. 13:32 #3582

    33' Pelova pulls the ball back to Fox, who looked for a shot but then finds Mead, who wins a corner. McCabe swings the ball in and Ilestedt heads over from close range. 2-0

  49. 13:31 #3581

    32' A sighter for Agyemang in behind put there is too much power on the pass and Zinsberger can come out and claim the ball. 2-0

  50. 13:29 #3580

    30' Foord slips the ball to McCabe, who crosses but Goldsmid can claim easily. 2-0

  51. 13:28 #3579

    29' Michelle Agyemang has been the standout of Watford’s loan contingent so far- she turns 17 next month but her physicality and pace mean she has already become a key player for Damon Lathrope’s side. It was in the Fourth Round in 2023 in which she scored her first senior goal for Arsenal. 2-0

  52. 13:27 #3578

    28' Mead's corner somehow goes through everyone- Wubben-Moy was lurking at the back post but Goldsmid did enough. 2-0

  53. 13:27 #3577

    26' Lovely quick build up play again from Arsenal as Mead's deep cross is smashed behind for a corner by Leon. 2-0

  54. 13:26 #3576

    26' Leon crosses from the right but it's too close to Zinsberger, who is called into action for the first time. 2-0

  55. 13:25 #3575

    25' Watford build through Haines on the left wing and Mead was there to defend. 2-0

  56. 13:22 #3574

    22' Watford break as Agyemang spins away from Walti and powers the ball wide, but Wubben-Moy intercepts. 2-0

  57. 13:21 #3573

    21' Lovely one touch football from Arsenal before Miedema goes down in the box and sees her optimistic penalty appeals waved away. 2-0

  58. 13:19 #3572

    19' The free kick comes to nothing and now Arsenal win their own. Mead delivers and Ilestedt fires a shot straight at Goldsmid, who makes the save. 2-0

  59. 13:18 #3571

    18' Agyemang is pulled back by Ilestedt and wins a free-kick for Watford inside the Arsenal half. 2-0

  60. 13:17 #3570

    17' She will be able to continue. 2-0

  61. 13:16 #3569

    16' Goldsmid requires treatment- a reminder that Watford do not have a goalkeeper on the bench... 2-0

  62. 13:15 #3568

    15' Mead's header loops up and is palmed away from Goldsmid, who is adjudged to have been fouled. 2-0

  63. 13:13 #3567

    12' Goal! Arsenal 2-0 Watford: Fox drives forward and wins a corner. It's worked to Lia Walti on the edge of the box and she sweeps the ball into the bottom corner with a lovely finish. 2-0

  64. 13:10 #3566

    10' Mead is involved again, finding Miedema who crosses but it's cleared by a defender. 1-0

  65. 13:08 #3565

    6' Goal! Arsenal 1-0 Watford: Alessia Russo puts Arsenal in front with a tap-in after Goldsmid saved Pelova's shot but couldn't hold on to the rebound. 1-0

  66. 13:04 #3564

    4' Foord beats Leon easily but her cross is headed away. 0-0

  67. 13:03 #3563

    3' The corner is palmed away by Goldsmid before Miedema's low cross is cleared. 0-0

  68. 13:02 #3562

    2' Arsenal move the ball well as the sun comes out at Meadow Park! Miedema gets in behind and is closed down well, before winning a corner. 0-0

  69. 13:00 #3561

    1' Underway! 0-0

  70. 13:00 #3560

    North London Forever is played and we're all set for kick-off. An incredible show around the ground as fans hold up white placards.

  71. 12:57 #3559

    Here come the teams!

  72. 12:55 #3558

    The teams are in the tunnel for the first game of 2024!

  73. 12:52 #3557

    Arsenal Women are wearing their 'No More Red' kit for the first time in this game. The Gunners will line up in all-white.

  74. 12:50 #3556

    Looking around Meadow Park there are very few empty seats remaining. Arsenal fans get here early and make plenty of noise. It's sold out again this afternoon, with a strong contingent of Watford supporters making the journey across Hertfordshire.

  75. 12:45 #3555

    Both teams have headed back down the tunnel for the final preparations before kick-off, which is 15 minutes away.

  76. 12:42 #3554

    Interesting to see that Arsenal defender Jen Beattie, famously thrown on upfront in the second leg against Wolfsburg last season, has joined the forwards in their shooting drills in the warm-up. She's been involved in all of Arsenal's shooting practice here, working on movement to get on the end of crosses and finishing- it could be worth keeping an eye on!

  77. 12:40 #3553

    Arsenal are the most successful side in the history of the Women's FA Cup, winning the trophy 14 times, most recently in 2015/16.

  78. 12:38 #3552

    Arsenal's defeat to Spurs in the final game of 2023 saw the Gunners drop to 3rd in the WSL. With no Champions League football, the FA Cup provides a strong opportunity for silverware for the Gunners.

  79. 12:36 #3551

    A huge task for Watford today, and it's been a difficult season so far. Bottom of the Women's Championship after being victorious in the National League playoffs last season, and the Hornets have faced challenges on and off the pitch- they are the only part-time team in the division.

  80. 12:32 #3550

    Huge cheers at Meadow Park as Emily Fox is welcomed over the tannoy!

  81. 12:30 #3549

    Jonas Eidevall on Emily Fox, in his programme notes: "Emily has quite the career ahead of her so, when the opportunity to sign her presented itself, she was our priority. I believe she's going to be successful both in the short and long term here at Arsenal."

  82. 12:24 #3548

    Manu Zinsberger is preferred to Sabrina D'Angelo in goal. Watford, on the other hand, do not have a goalkeeper on the bench.

  83. 12:19 #3547

    A very strong Arsenal lineup, as Emily Fox makes her debut. Kim Little and Lina Hurtig are out injured, and Steph Catley is not included in the squad.

  84. 12:17 #3546

    Arsenal subs: D'Angelo, Williams, Beattie, Maanum, Lacasse, Blackstenius, Codina, Cooney-Cross.

  85. 12:16 #3545

    Arsenal: Zinsberger; McCabe, Wubben-Moy, Ilestedt, Fox; Walti, Pelova; Foord, Miedema, Mead; Russo.

  86. 12:11 #3544

    Watford are out first to warm up as we continue to wait for Arsenal team news.

  87. 12:07 #3543

    Watford subs: Lafayette, Fleming, McLean, Davison, Baptiste, Johns, Rossiter, Head, Palisch.

  88. 12:03 #3542

    All three Arsenal loanees start for Watford against their parent club in what will be intriguing viewing for these home fans. Former Gunners Meiwald, Georgiou and Fyfe also start for the away side.

  89. 12:03 #3541

    Watford (we're still waiting for the Arsenal XI): Goldsmid, Leon, Meiwald, Agyemang, Georgiou, Harbert, Wilson, Fyfe, Haines, Reid, Henson.

  90. 11:59 #3540

    Team news to come...

  91. 11:59 #3539

    Team news to come...

  92. 11:59 #3538

    Team news to come...

  93. 11:52 #3537

    Arsenal loanees Michelle Agyemang, Laila Harbert and Katie Reid have all been given permission to play for Watford against their parent club this afternoon. I spoke exclusively to Watford head coach Damon Lathrope to get the lowdown on the young stars, and you can read it on the Gooner Fanzine website.

  94. 11:45 #3536

    Fifteen minutes to go until team news comes through, and Meadow Park is already filling up quickly. It's sold out today, once again!

  95. 11:41 #3535

    Hello and welcome to our first Arsenal Women live blog of 2024! It's Arsenal versus Watford in the Adobe Women's FA Cup, live from Meadow Park.


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