West Ham Women’s home match against Arsenal selected as supporters pilot event

Martha Thomas of West Ham scores the first goal for her team and celebrates during Arsenal Women vs

Martha Thomas of West Ham scores the first goal for her team and celebrates during Arsenal Women vs West Ham United Women, Barclays FA Women's Super League Football at Meadow Park on 8th September 2019 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

West Ham United Women’s home game with Arsenal on Saturday, September 12 at 5.20pm has been selected as one of the pilot events to test - on Government guidance - the return of spectators to elite sporting fixtures.

The game will take place in-front of the BT Sport camera’s at West Ham’s new home for 2020-21 the Chigwell Construction Stadium home of Dagenham and Redbridge.

The test event has been scheduled in line with Government and local authority guidance, with only West Ham Women Season Ticket Holders being permitted to attend, on a first come, first serve basis with up to a maximum capacity of 1,000 supporters.

Arsenal haven’t played in front of fans since the Continental Cup final on February 29 and due to the Coronavirus pandemic the Champions League game with Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday, August 22 was also played without fans.

Arsenal defeated the Hammers twice last season in the opening day of the season winning 2-1 at Meadow Park thanks to Beth Mead and Jill Roord goals before knocking Matt Beard’s side out of the FA Cup 2-0 due to Katie McCabe and Lia Wälti goals.

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The Swiss midfielder scoring her first ever goal for the Gunners in January’s fixture.

West Ham United women’s head coach Matt Beard told the club website: “To be chosen as one of the very first football matches in the United Kingdom to welcome back fans is brilliant - one that the team and I are very much looking forward to.

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“The eyes of the country will be on us on Saturday September, 12 and it will be a joy to share the occasion of our first league match at our new home with our supporters in attendance, and football fans watching from home.”

West Ham United women’s managing director Jack Sullivan added:“It is a real privilege that this fixture has been selected as one of the pilot events for supporters to return to live football matches in the UK.

“Our Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture with Arsenal will be the first in our new matchday home and we feel it’s fitting that we are able to welcome our fantastic supporters to share in what will be a historic and memorable occasion for West Ham United.”

West Ham captain Gilly Flaherty who has previously played for the Gunners is excited to get back playing infront of the fans once more as she explained: “We have been counting down the days until West Ham United fans could once again watch us in action, and I speak for every member of the team when I saw how excited we are that our match with Arsenal will see them return.

“It is only fitting that our first game at our new matchday home would have our supporters in attendance and it will be an honour to once again step out in front of them, hear their support and play for them in just over a week’s time.”

West Ham kick off their season this weekend in another London derby at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday while Arsenal host Reading.

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