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Everton 1 (Duggan 34) Arsenal 2 (White 66, Yankey 80)
Arsenal came from behind to clinch victory on the last day of the season and will finish in third place, two positions above Everton.
On a beautiful afternoon, both sides created immediate openings. Before a minute had been played, Ellen White had a clear sight of goal for Arsenal but her shot was smothered by Rachel Brown-Finnis. Everton then went on the offensive as Lucy Whipp burst through and teed up Michelle Hinnigan, whose effort was brilliantly parried by Emma Byrne, while Nikita Parris couldn't convert the rebound.
Once the game settled down, Everton began to enjoy a greater share of possession but Arsenal were still creating the clearer opportunities with Katie Chapman and Rachel Yankey both having chances. Just before the half hour mark, the Blues threatened as the ball sat up nicely for Parris whose sweet volley from the edge of the box was turned round the post by Byrne.
Arsenal came close again when Jordan Nobbs lined up a shot from 12 yards but Everton midfielder Hinnigan denied her with a superb block-tackle.
Everton broke the deadlock in the 34th minute as a long ball forward from Brooke Chaplen caught out the Gunners' defence and Toni Duggan, high in confidence following her hat-trick for England on Thursday, pounced to poke the ball past Byrne. It was only the eleventh goal that Arsenal had conceded during their league campaign.
The second half began with Arsenal on the front foot as they sought an equaliser. A sharp turn and shot from White almost did the job for the Gunners but her effort came back off the post. Shortly after White was close again with a shot that flashed across the goal.
With Arsenal exerting serious pressure, Brown-Finnis had right back Vicky Jones to thank for an acrobatic clearance after a cross slipped through the keeper's fingers.
Arsenal got the reward their persistence deserved after 66 minutes when White slotted coolly following excellent approach work from Gemma Davison and Chapman.
With just under ten minutes remaining the Gunners nabbed the winner. Davison was again the creator, providing the cross for Yankey to convert from close range.
There was a late flurry of attacks from Everton but they were unable to conjure a clear chance as Arsenal closed out the win.
Everton: Rachel Brown-Finnis, Vicky Jones, Brooke Chaplen, Lucy Whipp (sub Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah 71mins), Alex Greenwood, Lindsay Johnson, Nikita Parris, Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Michelle Hinnigan, Simone Magill. Subs not used: Megan Walsh, Amy Kane, Millie Turner, Billie Murphy.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Yvonne Tracy, Caroline Weir, Steph Houghton, Katie Chapman, Gemma Davison (sub Freda Ayisi 85mins), Jordan Nobbs, Ellen White, Kim Little (sub Danielle Carter 62mins), Rachel Yankey. Subs not used: Jade Bailey, Molly Bartrip, Cherie Rowlands, Vyan Sampson, Frances Steele.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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