Ladies 1 day ago

Ladies: Chichester FAWNL Plate Quarter-Final Preview

After the fixture was delayed three times due to bad weather, the Golden Girls are hoping Sunday will be the day they can finally get back to action in the FA WNL Plate with their quarter-final tie at Chichester City.

Victories over Kent Football United and Oxford United have seen the Hornets reach this stage, and they will now be looking to join Middlesbrough in the semi-final.

Looking to prevent that scenario is a Chichester side which has had a tough time in the league this season. They have enjoyed some good results in this competition so far though and Watford will be well aware of their threats, having been made to battle for the three points in the league fixture.


Views from the Head Coach

For the first time since September, the Golden Girls are going into a game on the back of a defeat in the previous fixture.

“We look back on the Sunderland game with frustration and disappointment,” Clinton Lancaster told watfordfc.com. “We have moved on from that game now and intend on getting back to winning ways this weekend.

“We want to win this trophy, it’s as simple as that. I will be picking a squad this weekend that will be expected to go out there and get us into the semi-final.”

With his team having to deal with several fixture rearrangements this month, Lancaster insists his attention at the moment is firmly on this weekend.

“The cup games will help us get ready for those league fixtures,” he said. “They are an opportunity for players to step up and put in a good performance, which could see them selected for the upcoming games.

“I am honestly not looking beyond Chichester at the moment. I am aware of our schedule, but all I want to do is get the result this Sunday.”

To get the desired victory, the Head Coach will know his side can’t afford to let standards slip. Watford were victorious in the league fixture back in November, but only by a one-goal margin.

“They are a good side with some good players within their squad,” Lancaster explained. “They aren’t in a position to win the league, so winning this competition will be big for their players and staff.

“We have to expect a tough test and we are not taking them for granted. It was difficult last time and I expect the same again on Sunday.”


Flashback

Chichester 2-3 Watford (November 3, 2019)

The two teams faced each other in the league only a few months ago. While Watford secured the three points, they had to dig deep in order to do so.

Katie O’Leary got the Golden Girls off to the perfect start, opening the scoring after just three minutes with a first-time effort.

The form book suggested this would be a comfortable win for the away side, but Chichester had other ideas and Megan Fox got her team back on level terms just a minute after falling behind.

Watford were denied a couple of times by Isobelle Foster in the Chichester goal, and then down the other end, the hosts struck. It was a fine goal to take the lead, as Gemma Simmonds’ chip made it 2-1 to Chichester.

Looking for an immediate response, Watford looked to have found it after Helen Ward had rounded the keeper, but some superb defending from Nicky Lake prevented a goal.

When another chance presented itself, the captain wouldn’t be denied. She pounced on a poor back pass and slotted it past the keeper to ensure the game was all square at the interval.

The Hornets stepped it up in the second half, looking for a crucial third goal. Hattie Kettle had an effort disallowed, while O’Leary hit the crossbar.

Eventually the pressure told, and Watford found a way through. It was O’Leary on the scoresheet again, as she netted her second of the afternoon with a curled strike into the top right corner.

Despite not being able to add to the tally, Clinton Lancaster’s side looked assured in the final stages and closed the game out in professional fashion.

GOLDEN GIRLS |  Wilson, Hill, Kettle (Beckett, 57), Huggins, Rolandsen, Scanlon (Stojko-Down, 61), Chandler, Vyse, Ward (C), O’Leary, Carid (Fatuga-Dada, 68)

Goals | O’Leary (3, 72), Ward (39)


Hosts

Chichester are now in their third season at this level, having won promotion from the South West Division back in 2016/17. It was a case of consolidation in their first season, as they finished in eighth place. They then pushed on the following campaign, challenging towards the top for the majority of it, eventually finishing third.

There were several changes at Chichester in the summer as they prepared for 2019/20. Sadie Blakely was announced as the new manager, replacing the departing Aaron Smith.

It wouldn’t be an easy task for Blakely. The majority of the players that featured regularly in the previous season departed, meaning she had to put a new side together.

The opening six games of 2019/20 would prove to be difficult, as they struggled at both ends of the pitch. The Lillywhites lost their opening five league fixtures, while also losing in the FA WNL Cup Determining Round to lower division opposition.

Next up was a trip to Gillingham and while they stopped the rot, it could have been even better. Megan Fox’s strike looked to have given them the win, but a goal late in second half stoppage time prevented Chichester from getting all three points.

The first victory did eventually arrive. It was in the FA WNL Plate, as they defeated Swindon Town 4-2 after extra-time. That was then followed up in the Last 16 with a win over Cheltenham Town.

Despite the success in this competition, they’ve struggled in the league in recent months. After 12 games, they’re currently bottom with a 0-2-10 record. The second point coming in a 0-0 draw with Hounslow.

If Chichester want to reach the next round of the Plate, they’ll have to do what they haven’t so far this season, and that’s beat a side from the Southern Division.


Last time out

Sunderland 2-0 Watford

GOLDEN GIRLS |  Wiggins, Hill, Beckett, Huggins, Fatuga-Dada, Chandler (Kikomeko, 72), Stojko-Down, Rolandsen, Ward (C), O’Leary (Vyse, 66), Carid (Richards, 85)

Chichester 4-0 Lewes Development

CHICHESTER | Rowlands, Capel-Watson, Phelps, Burke, Laczkovski, Fox (C), White, Bell, Simmonds, Wild (Cook, 65), Martins (Staple, 76)

Goals | Simmonds (28), Wild (40), Martins (49), Bell (89)


Information

Chichester City Ladies v Watford FC
FA WNL Plate Quarter-Final
Sunday February 23, 5.15pm
Front Lawn Recreation Hub
PO9 5AN

First Team 3 days ago

Match Pack: Manchester United v Watford

As the Hornets prepare to visit Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League, here is everything you need to know about the fixture...


INFO

Manchester United v Watford
Premier League
Old Trafford
Sunday Feburary 23, 2pm GMT

HOW TO FOLLOW

  • Live audio commentary of the match will be available at watfordfc.com and via the official Watford FC app HERE.
  • Find live coverage and behind-the-scenes content on our social channels!

OFFICIALS

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: Lee Betts, Peter Kirkup
Fourth Official: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Andre Marriner
Assistant VAR: Scott Ledger


TEAM NEWS

Nigel Pearson reported that Daryl Janmaat (knee) is close to returning from injury, but this weekend's match will come too soon for the full-back. Ismaïla Sarr and Kiko Femenía are both back in full training following hamstring injuries.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær said Scott McTominay may be in the Manchester United squad for Sunday after a knee injury, while Mason Greenwood has been ill. Marcus Rashford remains sidelined with a back injury, while Paul Pogba (ankle) is also a doubt.


OPPOSITION FORM

Manchester United have had a stop-start season and currently sit seventh in the Premier League. The Red Devils earned a 2-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out, but picked up just one point from their last two league matches at Old Trafford, as they were beaten 2-0 by Burnley and held to a goalless draw by Wolves. Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side will be without top goalscorer Marcus Rashford on Sunday, but Anthony Martial has been in good form recently in his absence.


HEAD TO HEAD

Overall:

Won 6, Drawn 5, Lost 22

Last Six:

Dec 2019: Watford 2-0 Man Utd (Sarr, Deeney pen) (Premier League)
Mar 2019: Man Utd 2-1 Watford (Doucouré) (Premier League)
Sep 2018: Watford 1-2 Man Utd (Gray) (Premier League)
May 2018: Man Utd 1-0 Watford (Premier League)
Nov 2017: Watford 2-4 Man Utd (Deeney pen, Doucouré) (Premier League)
Feb 2017: Man Utd 2-0 Watford (Premier League)


GOLDEN FLASHBACK

October 4, 1978 – Manchester United 1-2 Watford

Watford's only away victory against Manchester United to date came in the League Cup in 1978. The Hornets were in the third tier of English football at the time and travelled to Old Trafford to face a First Division team they had never beaten. As expected, the hosts took the lead, with Joe Jordan scoring the goal. But Graham Taylor's team would not give up – they ripped apart the script with two goals from Luther Blissett to turn the game on its head.


PLAYED FOR BOTH 

Ben Foster

Foster has now played 145 times for the Golden Boys, but earlier in his career the goalkeeper also appeared for Manchester United. In 2005 he arrived at Old Trafford from Stoke City and was quickly loaned out to join the Hornets for two seasons. In his first season the team were promoted and in his second they appeared in the Premier League. Foster then returned to the Red Devils before leaving in 2010 to join Birmingham City. In 2018, 11 years after he left Vicarage Road, Foster returned with the team once again in the top flight. 


WHAT ARE THEY SAYING? 

Ole Gunnar Solskjær:

On Manchester United's 2-0 loss at Vicarage Road in December: “That was a very disappointing game. We should have won that one. We gifted their two goals and we had chances to put away ourselves but you can’t win games if you don’t take chances.”

On whether Odion Ighalo could feature: “Everyone says that [they play better] when they score against their old team, but there are also many games when you don’t score against your old team. Odion is getting more and more minutes, it depends on Mason [Greenwood] as well of course, and Anthony [Martial] how he is.”

Nigel Pearson:

On the difficulty of upcoming fixtures: “These are very difficult on the face of it, but they are great fixtures for us. Every player should look forward to playing in these games and every coach should look forward to being involved in them. It's about going out there and getting a performance as close to maximum as possible because that's what we need to do.”

On whether he can repeat the 2-0 win against Manchester United in December: “I don't spend too much time looking at things that have already been and gone. We know we've beaten them this season, which is good. Whether that has any bearing on the game that's coming up, we'll see. Firstly, it's about us being able to produce a level of performance that is good enough for us to cause them problems. We've got individuals in our squad who are very, very capable in an offensive manner. But, as always, the collective is the most important thing.”


Visiting Supporter Info

  • Bags larger than 20cm x 15cm x 5cm (8” x 6” x 2”) will not be permitted into the stadium. All bags will be searched and items larger than the size criteria must be left at the away team “Bag Drop” facility located in E2 car park.
  • Turnstiles will open two hours prior to kick off. Security checks are in place so please aim to be inside the stadium around 45 minutes before kick-off to ensure a timely entry.
  • If you have lost or forgotten to take your ticket to the match, please contact the Watford FC Ticket Office on 01923-223023. Please have your FAN ID ready when you call.
  • There is a lift to the concourse and access stewards available to help amenity fans but note there are below 16 steps to climb from the concourse to the amenity seating. No alternative amenity seating is available. 
  • Should a fan require access assistance, they should contact the nearest steward who will arrange an ‘access steward’ to take them to their seat.
  • Read the Visiting Supporters' guide HERE.
  • Read about Accessible facilities HERE.
  • Read the Manchester United Access Statement HERE.