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Women's Football News
Bristol Academy 0
Arsenal 3 (Davison 28, Nobbs 44, Beattie 87)
Arsenal opened up a lead of five points at the top of the FA WSL after they blew away the home side with a powerful performance at Stoke Gifford.
Gemma Davison gave a brilliant display on the wing, scoring one and creating the other two as the Gunners gave an ominous reminder that they are still the team to beat this season despite a patchy run of results in recent weeks.
There were not too many chances early on, the biggest scare for Bristol Academy coming as Jordan Nobbs chased a long ball but Siobhan Chamberlain was quickly off her line and came out to clear.
Davison was soon involved though and a strong run down the right ended with her cross picking out Rachel Yankey who was denied by an excellent save from Chamberlain. Moments later, Chamberlain was again called into action with another good save, this time from Yankey's shot on the turn.
Academy responded with Nikki Watts firing a shot off target but they were dealt a blow as Alex Windell was forced off with a knee injury, Grace McCatty coming on and the defence was reshuffled.
Before Academy could settle down properly, they found themselves a goal behind although there was a little controversy involved. Jessica Fishlock had been caught on the head by an accidental boot from Katie Chapman but, instead of stopping play for a head injury, the referee allowed play to continue and Kim Little slipped a pass to Davison who buried a powerful angled shot past Chamberlain and inside the far post.
Nobbs had a good chance for a second but shot wide when well placed after Chapman had headed the ball into her path. Chapman was dominating matters in the centre of the pitch, well supported by Steph Houghton and Arsenal were also looking dangerous down both wings.
Ann Marie Heatherson produced a rare effort on the Arsenal goal with a looping header from Melissa Lawley's cross, which was saved by Emma Byrne. Arsenal went straight back on the attack and Davison sped down the right and, with three team mates well placed in the centre, it was Nobbs who buried her shot into the far corner to double her side's lead.
Davison fired a shot wide from Chapman's pass and Nobbs should have made it three in first half injury time when she shot over an open net from Davison's cross.
The second half saw Academy have more possession and territory than before but the chances continued to go Arsenal's way. Davison drilled an inviting low cross across the face of goal which just evaded Yankey, then Davison released Little on goal but she was denied by a fine diving save from Chamberlain and Loren Dykes was on hand to prevent Yankey from slotting home the rebound.
At the other end, Academy won a free kick just outside the area but Yorston's shot was charged down by the wall. Chapman meanwhile was inches away from connecting with a Little free kick when unmarked in the area and Yankey made another threatening run which saw her get past McCatty before Chamberlain foiled with another excellent save.
Academy's best chance of the match came as Watts latched on to Yorston's pass and took the ball past Byrne out wide but her cross was just too high for Natasha Harding at the far post.
Another Academy free kick saw Jemma Rose this time have a shot blocked and a lightning fast counter attack from Arsenal saw Davison again wreak havoc down the right before cutting the ball back for Jennifer Beattie to power home a shot from twelve yards for the third goal.
Beattie headed narrowly wide from a Scott cross late on but the final whistle soon sounded a commanding victory for Arsenal on the night.
Bristol Academy: Siobhan Chamberlain, Angharad James (sub Michelle Green 70mins), Jaz Matthews, Alex Windell (sub Grace McCatty 23mins), Jemma Rose, Corinne Yorston, Melissa Lawley, Nikki Watts, Ann Marie Heatherson (sub Natasha Harding 58mins), Jessica Fishlock, Loren Dykes. Subs not used: Rachel Simkin, Alex Culvin, Ellie Curson, Ellie Isaac.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Niamh Fahey, Steph Houghton (sub Jennifer Beattie 74mins), Gilly Flaherty, Katie Chapman, Ciara Grant, Jordan Nobbs, Kim Little, Gemma Davison, Rachel Yankey. Subs not used: Yvonne Tracy, Danielle Carter, Hayley Ladd, Bianca Bragg, Sophie Harris.
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