Football Final: Arsenal Ladies v Everton

By London_Duncan Last edited 129 months ago
Football Final: Arsenal Ladies v Everton

Last year Arsenal won everything in sight, a clean sweep of domestic and European trophies. Manager Vic Akers was delighted to secure four triumphs from four competitions. We are, of course, talking about the Ladies team who tonight take on Everton at Leyton Orient's Matchroom Stadium to defend the first of that quartet of titles, in the FA Tesco Women's Premier League Cup Final, kick off 7:35pm. The game is also live on Sky Sports.

Not that we're confident of another victory for the Gunners, but they haven't actually lost a competitive fixture for two whole years. The last team to beat them was the briefly defunct Charlton Ladies who used to go toe to toe with Arsenal for pretty much everything. On that occasion the Valiants ran out 2-1 winners to secure this same cup which Arsenal have collected on nine out of the fourteen times it's been played for so far.

Everton, twice runners-up in this competition, have not lifted any silverware themselves since capturing the league title ten years ago, but they have made a habit in their run to the final of humbling opposition from in and around the capital. Barnet were despatched 6-0, West Ham conceded four and Watford were edged out of the semi-finals in the last minute of extra-time, something of which former Gunners defender Andy Linghan would no doubt have approved. Arsenal, meanwhile, took care of rival "Big Four" clubs Chelsea and Liverpool having already won on the road at Cardiff and, believe it or not, Newquay, where they racked up a goal for each member of the team.

Everton's main danger woman tonight is Fara Williams, scorer of four goals in the previous rounds and holder of a winner's medal for this tournament courtesy of her part in Charlton's victory over Fulham in 2004. The Toffees also count England goalkeeper Rachel Brown and left-sided player Rachel Unitt amongst their number. Arsenal can comfortably field a whole team of internationals including club captain Faye White, Alex Scott, Karen Carney, Rachel Yankey, Kelly Smith and Lianne Sanderson of England, Scotland captain Julie Fleeting, Wales captain Jayne Ludlow, Ireland captain Ciara Grant and fellow Irish national regulars goalkeeper Emma Byrne and left back Yvonne Tracy. Sepp Blatter will doubtless be delighted.

While Akers has virtually a full squad to select from our favourite piece of team news is something you just wouldn't encounter in the men's game. Tough tackling England midfielder Katie Chapman is unavailable - because she's pregnant.

Tickets are £5 for Adults and £2.50 for concessions. The nearest tube station is Leyton on the Central Line and there is also the overground option of Leyton Midland Road.

Evidence of the spread of Premiership fandom to the USA, and more particularly Grand Rapids, Michigan, via Joits's Flickr stream.

Last Updated 28 February 2008