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Women's Football News
Arsenal moved comfortably into the last four of the Premier League Cup with a 4-0 win over Southern Division opponents Keynsham Town on Sunday.
The Gunners were boosted by the welcome return of Julie Fleeting who scored twice in a 45-minute comeback but the Somerset visitors, seemingly unaffected by a difficult journey which delayed their arrival at Borehamwood, gave a fine performance which frustrated the holders for long periods.
Arsenal had an early chance but were foiled by a brave smothering save by Keynsham goalkeeper Linette Newton. Gemma Davison was seeing a lot of the ball on the right and provided a series of dangerous crosses which were well dealt with by the Keynsham defence.
It took an excellent long range Katie Chapman shot which hit the bar and dropped for Fleeting to slide in and break the deadlock around the 25-minute mark. Keynsham moved the ball around very nicely, with the whole team looking composed on the ball, but it was a Katarzyna Rusek free kick, forcing a scrambling save by Emma Byrne, which was the closest they came to an equaliser.
Newton made another fine save from a Chapman effort on 35 minutes but the period before half time settled the outcome as Fleeting tucked away a low shot from ten yards and Chapman made it three with a powerful close range finish.
At the break, Fleeting joined the injured Faye White on the sidelines and her replacement Helen Lander scuffed an early second half chance as did Davison from ten yards. Arsenal nearly conceded early on as an alert Byrne foiled Ana Bruni, but the Gunners created the majority of chances during the scond half.
The fact that they only added a fine Kim Little strike to their lead was mainly down to outstanding defensive work from Andreea Alexandru, Tanja Andjelkovic, skipper Dana Hinton and Tracey Rouemaine who protected Newton very well, backed up by Brianna Oeser and Ashley Reinecke, the American members of Keynsham's cosmopolitan squad, where players of nine countries worked with impressive harmony.
Davison, who was excellent throughout, Little again, and Corinne Yorston from 35 yards all went close late in the game but Keynsham held out to the joy of their manager, coaching staff and supporters. Arsenal go to Prague in the Champions League on Wednesday and await the semi final draw of the League Cup while Keynsham will hope for a good run in the F.A.Women's Cup and maybe another dream draw against National Division opposition.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Corinne Yorston, Gilly Flaherty, Faye White, Niamh Fahey, Jayne Ludlow, Ciara Grant, Katie Chapman, Kim Little, Julie Fleeting, Gemma Davison. Subs: Rebecca Spencer, Lauren Bruton, Jennifer Beattie, Helen Lander.
Keynsham Town: Linette Newton, Andreea Alexandru, Tanja Andjelkovic, Dana Hinton, Tracey Rouemaine, Ashley Reinecke, Helen Bleazard, Ana Bruni, Hari Sabic, Brianna Oeser, Katarzyna Rusek. Subs: Kayleigh Sage, Kelly Watkins, Leanne Lapham, Agnieszka Ziolek.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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