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Women's Football News
Lincoln Ladies 1 (Roberts 88) Arsenal 1 (Houghton 89)
Steph Houghton scored a spectacular late equaliser to earn Arsenal their first point of the season just moments after they looked to be on their way towards a second successive defeat.
The Gunners had struggled to break down a well disciplined Lincoln Ladies defence for most of the game but the Lady Imps, who are rapidly becoming Arsenal's bogey team, were just minutes away from their first league victory of the season.
After a largely quiet opening, the game burst into life as Jordan Nobbs made a strong run into the penalty area and appeared to be barged over by Sophie Bradley but play was waved on. Arsenal then had a great chance to take the lead when a good pass from Danielle Carter found Ellen White in space in the area but she dragged her shot wide of the goal.
Lincoln hit back with Jess Clarke shooting wide following good work by Emily Roberts but another good opportunity went Arsenal's way when the ball broke for Kim Little and she tried to round Karen Bardsley but the England goalkeeper did well to prevent her from doing so. White then hit the side netting from Gemma Davison's low cross as the visitors continued to carve out chances.
However the remainder of the half saw Arsenal continue to probe with Lincoln happy to keep things tight and it was not surprising that the match was goalless at the interval.
It was not until the hour mark that the stalemate was almost broken and from the unlikeliest of sources. On a breakaway from a Lincoln corner, Gilly Flaherty ran almost the length of the pitch before unleashing a shot which was tipped over by Bardsley. The resulting corner saw Carter's shot deflected wide following a scramble and the young winger again went close with a shot which was tipped wide by Bardsley.
Arsenal continued to step up the pressure and White was next to go close, her shot was inches wide after being set up by Little. Bardsley was called into action once again, this time saving from Nobbs.
However after needing to withstand a lot of Arsenal attacking, Lincoln then came up with a response which looked to have taken them to three points. Carla Cantrell did well to turn and shoot on the edge of the area and the ball took a deflection off Ciara Grant, Roberts reacting quickest and keeping her cool to round the advancing Byrne before tucking the ball into the empty net.
Lincoln's joy lasted barely a minute though. Carter's pass picked out Houghton in space around 25 yards from goal and she beat Bardsley with a superb strike which found the top corner of the net.
Lincoln Ladies: Karen Bardsley, Amy Turner, Martha Harris, Sophie Walton, Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Megan Harris (sub Bonnie Horwood 72mins), Emily Roberts, Carla Cantrell, Remi Allen, Jess Clarke. Subs not used: Jules Draycott, Amy Kay, Meaghan Sargeant, Lauren Cresswell.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Jennifer Beattie, Steph Houghton, Gilly Flaherty, Ciara Grant, Gemma Davison, Jordan Nobbs, Ellen White, Kim Little, Danielle Carter. Subs not used: Rebecca Spencer, Yvonne Tracy, Jayne Ludlow, Rachel Yankey, Jade Bailey, Bianca Bragg, Lauren Bruton.
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