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Women's Football News
Arsenal 4 (White 25, Nobbs 49, Carter 54, Little 82) Bristol Academy 2 (Watts 27, Curson 42)
Holders Arsenal sealed their place in the semi finals of the Continental Cup with an entertaining 4-2 win against league leaders Bristol Academy.
After a scrappy opening ten minutes, the hosts had the first chance. Kim Little exchanged passes with Ellen White on the edge of the box before driving a shot across goal and wide. A few minutes later Danielle Carter dragged a shot wide before Jade Bailey, making her full debut, also missed the target from 20 yards.
The Gunners made the early pressure count when they took the lead after 25 minutes. Jordan Nobbs received the ball in midfield and played a lovely pass to release White. The England international took a touch before sliding the ball past Bristol goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain for her seventh goal of the season.
It seemed like they would push on from there but in fact they were pegged back almost immediately with a goal of their own undoing. A long kick by Chamberlain wasn't dealt with and Nikki Watts' superb volley from the edge of the area gave Rebecca Spencer no chance.
That woke the visitors up and they should have taken the lead when Watts found herself free in the box but she fired over from ten yards. Moments later Arsenal responded with a chance of their own. Gemma Davison drove to the goal line and cut the ball back to Little but she sliced her shot over the bar.
That miss looked costly moments later when the Vixens took the lead. In almost identical circumstances to the first goal, Arsenal failed to clear the ball in their own box and Ellie Curson's precise lob left Spencer stranded.
Arsenal began the second half in well and levelled the match just four minutes after the interval. Davison's low cross from the left found Nobbs who finished low to the keeper's right from six yards.
Five minutes later they retook the lead when Little lofted the ball into the path of Carter. She took a touch and drove a powerful shot into the roof of the net from an acute angle.
The Gunners were rampant and, soon after, White was inches away from getting on the end of an excellent cross by Nobbs. With twenty minutes remaining substitute Rachel Yankey, making her first appearance in four games, had an effort well saved by Chamberlain. She came close again five minutes later but her shot from the edge of the box was deflected inches wide.
Arsenal put the result beyond doubt with eight minutes left. It was an excellent goal, involving good build-up play between Steph Houghton, Nobbs and Davison, which ended with the latter crossing for Little to finish emphatically.
The two teams will now meet again next Sunday, this time in the F.A.Women's Cup Final at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Arsenal: Rebecca Spencer, Alex Scott, Steph Houghton, Jade Bailey, Jennifer Beattie, Yvonne Tracy, Gemma Davison, Jordan Nobbs, Ellen White, Kim Little, Danielle Carter (sub Rachel Yankey 66mins). Subs not used: Emma Byrne, Ciara Grant, Lauren Bruton, Bianca Bragg.
Bristol Academy: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Windell, Rhian Cleverly (sub Jaz Matthews 60mins), Corinne Yorston, Grace McCatty, Angharad James, Lauren Haynes, Rachel Hignett, Ann Marie Heatherson, Nikki Watts, Ellie Curson. Subs not used: Georgia Evans, Ellie Leek, Natasha Harding, Lucy Staniforth.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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