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Arsenal complete Continental Cup hat-trick
 Women's Football News 5 Oct 2013
 
Arsenal complete Continental Cup hat-trick   - 5 Oct 2013 - Women's Football NewsArsenal 2 (White 75, Little 85) Lincoln Ladies 0
att: 3,421; at Barnet F.C.

Arsenal made it a hat-trick of successes in the Continental Cup as two strikes in the final fifteen minutes saw off the challenge of a dogged Lincoln side. 
 
The Gunners had dominated the match and spurned a number of chances whilst impressive Lincoln full back Martha Harris had cleared three efforts off her line. But roared on by a brilliant second half display from Kim Little, who supplied a sublime pass for Ellen White's opening goal before sealing the game with a great solo goal, Arsenal eventually found their way through to lift their second trophy of the season.
 
Arsenal came roaring out of the blocks with Danielle Carter's low drive bringing out a good save from Karen Bardsley. The Lincoln keeper also denied White after she had made an unchallenged run towards the edge of the area.
 
Jordan Nobbs tried her luck with an effort from 25 yards which Bardsley safely watched over her bar and White dragged a shot wide following a good piece of Arsenal possession. At the other end, Aileen Whelan sidefooted a shot narrowly past the post after Alex Scott had challenged Jess Clarke.
 
Then after Arsenal had given the ball away cheaply, Whelan set up Bonnie Horwood whose shot took a deflection off Gilly Flaherty and went just wide. Arsenal won the ball from the corner and went on the counter attack, Little getting to the line before evading two challenges but elected to shoot instead of setting up Rachel Yankey and her effort was charged down.
 
The resulting corner was not dealt with by Lincoln but Martha Harris was well positioned to clear off the line as Steph Houghton tried to bundle the ball home. Harris made another vital goalline clearance to deny Carter as she tried to turn the ball in from Katie Chapman's header, then Remi Allen charged down the rebound from the young striker.
 
The first opportunity of the second half went Lincoln's way as Clarke worked herself an opening but she fired her shot over the bar. Allen, who had had a good first half, then tried her luck after Clarke had slid in to tackle Chapman but Emma Byrne saved comfortably.
 
However Arsenal should have taken the lead on 50 minutes when Little broke into the area down the left and slid the ball across for White who got in front of her marker but missed the target from six yards with the goal at her mercy. White had a header cleared off the line by Harris, her third such clearance, then another driving run created a chance for Little as she was set up by White and Carter but Bardsley saved.
 
All of a sudden Lincoln were hanging on and somehow survived a huge goalmouth scramble in which Nobbs, Yankey and Carter all had shots saved or charged down in front of goal.
 
Arsenal did get the ball in the net but the whistle had gone for a foul on Bardsley by Flaherty and their frustrations began to grow. Chapman put a difficult volley wide after Yankey had whipped in a dangerous cross and Yankey herself fired narrowly over following another good run by Little.
 
The pressure finally told though and Arsenal made the breakthrough with fifteen minutes left. Little was inevitably the creator as she slid an inch perfect pass into the path of White and this time she gave Bardsley no chance by burying her shot into the far corner.
 
Two minutes later though and Lincoln were inches away from being level. Byrne miscued a punch from a corner and then fumbled as she tried to catch, two Lincoln players tried to bundle it home but Emma Mitchell came to her side's rescue by clearing off the line.
 
Nobbs forced a save from Bardsley following a good run and cut back by Scott but Arsenal finally put the result beyond doubt with five minutes remaining. Little had been a constant threat in a more advanced position during the second half and after picking the ball up just inside the Lincoln half, she carried it towards the edge of the area before planting her shot beyond the dive of Bardsley for a superb individual goal.
 
Now Arsenal could finally relax as Lincoln's resistance was broken and they ran down the clock to maintain their stranglehold on the trophy. 
 
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Emma Mitchell, Katie Chapman, Gilly Flaherty, Steph Houghton, Danielle Carter (sub Gemma Davison 80mins), Jordan Nobbs, Ellen White, Kim Little, Rachel Yankey. Subs not used: Yvonne Tracy, Caroline Weir, Freda Ayisi, Jade Bailey, Cherie Rowlands, Carla Humphrey.

Lincoln Ladies: Karen Bardsley, Amy Turner, Martha Harris, Sophie Walton, Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Bonnie Horwood (sub Megan Harris 80mins), Courtney Sweetman-Kirk (sub Emily Roberts 80mins), Aileen Whelan (sub Meaghan Sargeant 58mins), Remi Allen, Jess Clarke. Subs not used: Julianna Draycott, Lara Fay, Rachel Lee.

Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:

(top) Katie Chapman and Remi Allen in the thick of the action
(second) Ellen White gives Arsenal the lead
(third) Sophie Bradley cannot prevent Kim Little scoring her match clinching goal
(bottom) Arsenal with the Continental Cup

 
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