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Women's Football News
Arsenal and Nottingham Forest played a charity friendly organised by Northamptonshire FA , in particular by Women and Girls Football Development Officer Kathryn Hall, at Corby Town FC on Tuesday.
The match proceeds were divided between two causes, The Swain Benevolent Fund for local players suffering financial hardship as a result of football related injuries and Get Kids Going, offering sport and mobility provision for disabled children.
A crowd of 574 watched a very competitive encounter settled in the Gunners' favour by a single Danielle Carter goal on 35 minutes. Arsenal, coming off three matches in four days in Scotland, pressed for most of the 90 minutes but could not break down an inspired Forest defence and goalkeeper.
Katie Chapman hit the post on 18 minutes with Claire Wallhead saving Carter's follow up effort. Ellen White had a fine match, being denied twice by excellent blocks from Eleanor Clarke and Kelly Finley who were outstanding all evening in the heart of the Forest defence.
The winning goal was a scrappy affair from a corner which was allowed to travel to Carter, unmarked at the far post, who squeezed a header in off the post .
Forest had a great chance to equalize right on the half time whistle when Arsenal keeper Emma Byrne was dispossessed trying to beat Suzanne Davies but Gilly Flaherty turned the goalbound follow up past the post.
The second half saw a brief 20 minute appearance from England skipper Faye White as the Gunners rotated their squad. Youngsters Angharad James, Hayley Ladd and Melissa Lawley all gained significant playing time, Lawley having several dangerous runs on the left wing.
Forest managed to mount more pressure, with three corners causing some danger to the Gunners reshaped back line but most of the action was still down the other end.
Ellen White set up several chances for the Gunners, the best being for Jordan Nobbs whose low drive from 12 yards was brilliantly turned aside by Wallhead. Yvonne Tracy had a shot cleared off the line by Finlay but it was Forest who finished the match pressing forward for the equaliser without being able to test Byrne.
Both teams did themselves proud on the night but the real winners were the charities supported by the gate receipts, sales of an excellent souvenir programme, a silent auction of Arsenal related goodies and a popular half time penalty competition against Gunners reserve keeper Nicole Adams.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Steph Houghton, Niamh Fahey, Gilly Flaherty, Angharad James, Jordan Nobbs, Ellen White, Kim Little, Jayne Ludlow, Katie Chapman, Danielle Carter. Subs: Nicole Adams, Yvonne Tracy, Faye White, Ciara Grant, Melissa Lawley, Hayley Ladd, Jennifer Beattie.
Nottingham Forest: Claire Wallhead, Laura O'Neill, Eleanor Clarke, Kelly Finley, Andi Bell, Jemma Connor-Iommi, Aileen Whelan, Suzanne Davies, Natasha Meade, Samantha Conroy, Emma White. Subs: Natalie Wilcox, Amber Hughes, Brogan Jones, Kelly Henson, Chanelle Edkins.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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