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Arsenal sweep into Final
 Women's Football News 9 Aug 2013
 
Arsenal sweep into Final - 9 Aug 2013 - Women's Football NewsArsenal 4 (Nobbs 7, Carter 35, White 40, Houghton 56) Everton 0
Arsenal moved to within one step of a hat-trick of Continental Cup triumphs after a three-goal first half blast sent them on the way to victory against Everton in their semi final at Boreham Wood. 
 
Arsenal seized the initiative from the start and sought an early goal, going close when Emma Mitchell's crossfield pass picked out Ellen White whose first time shot went wide.
 
In the seventh minute, Arsenal did go ahead when Rachel Yankey clipped a pass over the Everton defence and into the path of Jordan Nobbs who deftly lobbed a stranded Lizzie Durack from 30 yards out.
 
The Gunners continued to dominate the early stages with Danielle Carter sending a shot just wide after working herself an opening and then Nobbs drove an effort over after Carter had dummied White's low cross.
 
Steph Houghton was next to try her luck as she stretched to reach a Yankey cross but her shot was saved by Durack.
 
Everton weathered the storm and began to grow in condience, putting the Arsenal back four under pressure for the first time. Toni Duggan was inches away from connecting with a Kelly Jones cross and a clever back header by Michelle Hinnigan from Brooke Chaplen's ball into the area almost looped over Emma Byrne but she was able to backpedal and claim in front of goal.
 
Arsenal hit back with a powerful run down the right by White and her cross picked out Nobbs but the in-form midfielder miscued her header on this occasion.
 
Everton were playing some nice football at this stage though and should really have been back on level terms when Vicky Jones floated a cross to the back post where an unmarked Hinnigan sent a free header over the bar. Kelly Jones then fired wide with a firm strike from just outside the area.
 
However just as Everton enjoyed their best spell of the game, Arsenal took a firm grip by going two ahead. Yankey's pass picked out Carter on the edge of the area where she turned past Lindsay Johnson before unleashing a left foot shot which soared into the top corner.
 
Suddenly Arsenal were rampant and Nobbs again shot over when well placed following good work on the right by Carter. Two minutes later and it was three, Yankey's crossfield pass was misjudged by Paige Williams and White seized on the loose ball to drill a left foot strike which went in off the post, to keep up her record of having scored in every Continental Cup tie this season.
 
Gilly Flaherty could well have put them further ahead just before half time after a corner had not been cleared but the defender headed over from Kim Little's cross.
 
The first opportunity of the second half went the way of Everton, Jody Handley's pass releasing Duggan down the left where she cut inside Scott's challenge and drove an angled shot inches over the bar.
 
Arsenal had introduced Gemma Davison as a half time substitute and the mercurial winger was heavily involved as her side went further ahead. Davison made a speedy run to the line and pulled the ball back for Houghton to score from close range, Durack getting a hand to her shot but was unable to keep the ball out.
 
Arsenal gave Katie Chapman her first home start of the season and they pressed for further goals but Everton, to their credit, dug in and battled hard with Johnson helping hold things together in the centre.
 
It was an Everton substitute though who created a glorious opportunity for herself as she charged down a Mitchell clearance and raced away towards goal. She made her way into the area and rounded Byrne but found the angle too tight and her shot hit the side netting.
 
Caroline Weir almost made a quick impact after coming on as a substitute, the Scottish teenager meeting a Little cross at the near post but was unable to keep her header down.
 
Nikita Parris drew a good save late on from Byrne as her side tried to salvage a goal but Arsenal can now look forward to a chance to win their second trophy of the season when they play Lincoln Ladies in the Final at the end of the WSL season. 
 
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Emma Mitchell, Steph Houghton, Gilly Flaherty, Ciara Grant, Danielle Carter (sub Caroline Weir 75mins), Jordan Nobbs, Ellen White (sub Katie Chapman 61mins), Kim Little, Rachel Yankey (sub Gemma Davison 45mins). Subs not used: Yvonne Tracy, Freda Ayisi, Jade Bailey, Sophie Harris.

Everton: Lizzie Durack, Vicky Jones (sub Lucy Whipp 66mins), Paige Williams, Brooke Chaplen, Billie Murphy, Lindsay Johnson, Jody Handley (sub Simone Magill 66mins), Jill Scott, Toni Duggan (sub Nikita Parris 79mins), Michelle Hinnigan, Kelly Jones.

Photos:

(top) Ellen White scores Arsenal's third goal
(middle) Emma Byrne claims a cross under pressure from Jody Handley
(bottom) Danielle Carter takes on Brooke Chaplen

 
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