Manchester United finally returned to winning ways yesterday with a 3-2 win over Everton at Walton Hall Park.
After a winless streak of four games, we were all delighted to get the full three points from our away trip to Everton. The final whistle was greeted with cheers as the Barmy Army went wild after a somewhat nervy final 10 minutes.
Many of our members made the trip to Everton’s new home ground, Walton Hall Park, with the brass band playing modern favourites as we walked through the gates. Everton kicked-off the event with young fans from both teams lining the entrance of the pitch waving flags before both teams received commemorative plaques for the opening of the new pitch.
The game saw the return of winger Leah Galton from injury and she made an impact and displayed the spark that we had missed in recent games. From the first whistle to her substitution, she dazzled on the pitch with her runs and crosses. She bagged the first of her two goals as she cut in on the left side onto the edge of the box before beating England international goalkeeper Sandy MacIver. The second was a direct replica of the first, with her pace making light work of any attempts to defend from Esme Morgan.
We went 3-0 up just after half-time with a goal from Ella Toone who started in place of dropped captain Katie Zelem, we then unfortunately conceded two goals. The first came from Dan Turner and the second, a rather lucky cross from Lucy Graham which the wind caught and directed it past a helpless Mary Earps. The two goals ensured a nervy end to the match as Everton pushed and pushed for a late equaliser but the crowd were jubilant as the whistle blew, confirming out victory. We all celebrated together as one big family united by our love of our girls.
The half-time excitement was brought to the ground courtesy of our very own nutty Natalie Burrell, who took part in the crossbar challenge to try to win high street vouchers. Despite her best efforts, she fell short on all attempts, although she brought us all a good laugh with her attempted knee slide as she lapped up the attention.
Following the match, we presented defender Abbie McManus with her new flag from member Carl and she was delighted with it. Also in attendance at the match was our newest and smallest member of the squad, baby Emilia with her mum, our goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain, along with her dad.
In other news, two of our loanees were on display for Sheffield United in their 5-1 win over Blackburn Rovers. Goalkeeper Emily Ramsey started in goal for The Blades while midfielder Mollie Green also made the starting XI and scored. We hope that both girls keep up their good performances as they pick up game time and experience.
At our previous game against Brighton & Hove Albion, we met a fan from Ireland who with the help of our members, got a programme signed for her children. Likewise, we are hoping to meet some other overseas reds, as Norwegian members Tourin, Ellen and Kristian will be coming over to Manchester in March.
Looking forward to future event, members should take note of our first AGM which will take place in the The Whistling Wren pub next to the Leigh Sports Village after our fixture against Manchester City on the 29 March. Fans wishing to take part in our first meeting of the Barmy Army can sign up for a ticket by clicking here. We are going to discuss the Barmy Army going forward and all key issues regarding the group including what will come in the next 12 months.
We have also been contacted by The National Football Museum about the Strip! Talk; modern cult classics event. The event will take place on 27 February at 7pm and will feature a guest panel including our very own captain, Katie Zelem. Tickets are originally priced at £5.80 however you can purchase with discount code ‘KATIEZELEM’ to receive entry for just £2.80 per ticket, or for free if you are a Manchester resident. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
Due to the international break (and the FA Women’s Continental League Cup final), we will not be in action again until the 22 March when we face West Ham United at the Leigh Sports Village, kick-off is at midday.
Our next away game with Barmy Army organised travel will be Arsenal at Boreham Wood on 5 April. As a reward for all of the fans’ support so far this season, places on the coach cost just £25 rather than the usual £30. Please contact @barmyarmyTravel now to secure your place. We are also considering running a coach to the newly-rearranged fixture at Birmingham City on the 25 March. Please register your interest so that we can get an idea of numbers.
With the international calendar upon us, Lioness Abbie McManus will unite with the England squad on Saturday ahead of the start of the SheBelieves Cup in the United States. Our other internationals, Jackie Groenen, Hayley Ladd, Kirsty Smith and Lizzie Arnot will all also join up with their national teams for fixtures, while Lotta Okvist will link-up with her national Under-23s side. We would like to wish all of our international stars the best of luck with their fixtures and hope for their safe return without any injuries.
The Barmy Army (@barmyarmyMUWFC)