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Women's Football News
Arsenal prepared for the second half of the WSL season with a 2-0 win over Coventry City at Sphinx F.C.
Two second half headed goals sealed the win for the Gunners and, as always, they provided good entertainment, creating a host of chances against a very hard working Sky Blues squad who are still five weeks away from their debut in the National Division, having achieved back to back promotions.
Arsenal were without Julie Fleeting, two of their England players, Rachel Yankey and Faye White and the injured Jennifer Beattie. However, a vastly experienced line up dominated the first half and Coventry were grateful for several fine saves from Sarah Morgan, whose handling was excellent from long range efforts from Kim Little, Jayne Ludlow and Katie Chapman. The Sky Blue keeper's best moment came on 20 minutes when Jordan Nobbs broke clear and she advanced quickly to block the Scottish international's shot at point blank range.
However the post later saved Coventry twice in succession as first Ludlow from 30 yards and then Chapman from the rebound found the woodwork to ensure the half remained scoreless..
Coventry changed most of their line up at the break, whereas the Gunners retained the team from the first period. The pattern continued with the returning Ludlow controlling play from midfield, Little and Nobbs breaking forward and Danielle Carter lively on the right of the attack. The introduction of World Cup star player Ellen White gave the Gunners attack greater width but it was Carter just before the hour who gave Arsenal the lead with a neat header from a right wing cross.
Becky Spencer replaced Emma Byrne in goal and was soon forced into a smart blocking save in a one-on-one outside her area as the home side sprang the offside trap.
Arsenal doubled their lead after a disputed corner was met with a towering header from 15 yards by Ludlow. The rest of the contest saw the Sky Blues defence standing firm and second half keeper Sue Wood making a couple of fine saves to ensure a very respectable result at this early stage of their pre-season.
Coventry City have taken on the top two in the WSL on successive weekends, losing by a single goal to Birmingham City. The choice of opponents reflects the progress made by the Midlands club and
they competed very well throughout this latest test. Arsenal resume their pursuit of WSL leaders Birmingham with a home match against Liverpool next Sunday.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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