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Impressive Mead makes her mark as Arsenal Women hit back for WSL point in derby

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 April 2018

Arsenal Women's Beth Mead (pic Nigel French/PA)

Arsenal Women's Beth Mead (pic Nigel French/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Beth Mead marked a superb personal performance with the equaliser as Arsenal Women drew 1-1 in the FA WSL 1 with Chelsea.

The visitors took the lead through Fran Kirby, but Mead levelled just before the break and a point each was a fair result.

But Arsenal’s goalscorer said: “I’d say we’re disappointed with the point really, because we wanted all three points and we had chances in the second half to get those three points as well.

“Obviously a draw is nicer than losing, but we’re Arsenal, we need to be getting into the top two now and we needed that win.”

Drew Spence almost gave Chelsea the perfect start when her powerful strike from 25 yards was tipped over by Arsenal goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal in the second minute.

Mead had a shot from a narrow angle saved by Hedvig Lindahl’s foot in a lively opening, before the visitors broke the deadlock.

Van Veenendaal’s kick fell for Ramona Bachmann, who bent a lovely ball for Kirby to control before prodding into the net.

The Gunners drew level in first-half stoppage time with Mead’s impressive solo effort.

Collecting the ball wide on the right, Mead surged down the wing and kept on going, powering into the box and sliding a low effort past Lindahl into the far corner.

But Ji So-Yun blazed a good chance over from Kirby’s cut-back after van Veenendaal had done enough to force the Chelsea scorer wide after the break.

Mead added: “We’re frustrated that their goal came from our mistake. We’ve gifted them a goal, really, and I’m sure a lot of our girls will be harsh on themselves.

“I enjoyed my game. Obviously I wish I could have scored another goal, but I got the equaliser and it put us in a good position for the second half.”

Both clubs are involved in the SSE Women’s FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday April 15, with Arsenal taking on Everton and Chelsea facing Manchester City.

Mead added: “Everton are a young team, but they’re a very clever side, so we’re expecting a tough game. We’ve got to turn up and hopefully get into that final.

“The FA Cup is a big thing to be involved in. Arsenal are known for their FA Cup wins, so there is a bit of pressure on us. Getting to Wembley is a massive incentive. I haven’t played there myself.”

To buy tickets to an FA Women’s Super League match near you visit fawsl.com/tickets.

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