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Arsenal 0 Everton 1 (Kane 7)
att: 5,008; at Leyton Orient F.C.
An early goal saw Everton end Arsenal's monopoly of the domestic trophies and ended their unbeaten record of two years with a shock 1-0 victory to lift the Premier League Cup for the first time in their history.
Mo Marley's side produced a disciplined display in defence, marshalled by the outstanding Lindsay Johnson, and goalkeeper Danielle Hill was also in fine form as the Gunners' renowned strike force was kept at bay. The defeat was Arsenal's first since the 2006 Premier League Cup Final to Charlton Athletic, and it brought an end to their incredible 61-match winning streak in front of an excellent attendance at the Matchroom Stadium.
Everton made a bright start to the game and were rewarded in the seventh minute as Natasha Dowie's pass released Jill Scott down the right where she made ground before cutting the ball back for Amy Kane to slide her shot past a diving Emma Byrne and into the far corner of the net, to give Everton the lead.
Arsenal's first opportunity came on 18 minutes after winning a free kick on the left, around fifteen yards from the goal line, Karen Carney's inswinging kick narrowly evading the oncoming Faye White at the far post. Kelly Smith then threatened with a driving run which ended with her 20-yard shot being tipped over by Danielle Hill.
Jody Handley was just unable to bring a Michelle Evans cross under control but at the other end, a deft lob from Smith was headed off the line, via the bar, by Emily Westwood after a corner had been half cleared.
There was a scare for Hill as she fumbled a harmless looking Carney cross goalwards but, with Julie Fleeting and Smith converging on the loose ball, the young Everton goalkeeper managed to regain possession in time. Another Everton error may have proved costly moments afterwards, Westwood being dispossed by Smith in the area but Lianne Sanderson was initially crowded out and Carney fired her shot over the bar.
Dowie headed a good chance over when unmarked from a Williams free kick but, after some late Arsenal pressure, Everton took their one-goal lead into the break.
Sanderson produced the first attempt on goal in the second half, a header from a Rachel Yankey cross which flew straight at Hill. However there was a golden chance for Everton as a superb chipped pass from Williams released Dowie on goal but she was denied by a fine blocking save from Byrne, who had moved smartly off her line.
Yankey shot over the bar after cutting in from the right and a Carney free kick was charged down by the Everton wall after Smith had been fouled outside the area.
Arsenal pressed harder as the game went into the final ten minutes and Fleeting passed up a good opportunity when she headed wide from Yankey's cross. Ludlow sent a volley straight at Hill and, as injury time began, Smith looked certain to level the scores but was denied by a last ditch block from Unitt. Everton defended a free kick after Smith had been fouled on the left, Asante tried her luck from fully 30 yards but the ball flew over and Arsenal's last chance had gone.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Mary Phillip, Jayne Ludlow, Anita Asante, Faye White (sub Gemma Davison 85mins), Karen Carney, Kelly Smith, Lianne Sanderson (sub Ciara Grant 63mins), Julie Fleeting, Rachel Yankey. Subs: Yvonne Tracy, Rebecca Spencer, Gilly Flaherty.
Everton: Danielle Hill, Becky Easton (sub Michelle Hinnigan 88mins), Rachel Unitt, Fara Williams, Emily Westwood, Lindsay Johnson, Jody Handley, Jill Scott, Natasha Dowie (sub Toni Duggan 76mins), Amy Kane, Michelle Evans. Subs: Leanne Duffy, Kelly McDougall, Karen Boyle.
Photo - Jubilant Everton players lift the trophy (www.jamesprickett.co.uk)
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