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Arsenal 7 (Ayisi 1, Knaak 2,68, Stoney 23, Carter 57, Scott 84,88) London Bees 0
Arsenal went to the top of Group One in the Continental Cup after scoring seven times without reply past London Bees at Meadow Park.
The original fixture had to be rescheduled due to Arsenal's participation in the UEFA Women's Champions League, and in truth it was this superior quality and experience within the Gunners' ranks that made the difference on the night.
Arsenal were still well in contention for a place in the semi finals, starting the game three points off the top of the group with a game in hand, and named a strong side with the likes of Alex Scott and Casey Stoney - both with more than one hundred England caps to their name - alongside their team of promising youngsters. The Bees made a couple of changes of their own, with Lucy Loomes replacing the injured Dawn Mallett and Aoife Hurley coming into the team in place of Paula Howells.
Having fallen behind after just a minute against Reading on Sunday, the Bees suffered another disastrous start to the game this time around, conceding after just 24 seconds with striker Freda Ayisi waltzing through the Bees defence before guiding her finish in off the far post.
The Bees had barely had time to recover from the early setback before they went 2-0 down with just two minutes on the clock. Arsenal worked the ball well down the left hand side and when the ball was played in to Turid Knaak, the German Under-23 International, on loan from Bayer Leverkusen, took a touch to create a yard of space before firing a right foot shot into the bottom corner.
The Bees were rocked, and were struggling to keep Arsenal at bay as the home side poured forward in search of more goals. Jordan Nobbs saw a free kick from the edge of the box blocked and then went on a mazy dribble shortly afterwards before placing a sidefoot shot narrowly wide of the far post.
The game then became somewhat disjointed thanks to two stoppages in quick succession, the first for a water break as both teams rehydrated on a warm evening at Meadow Park and the second after goalscorer Knaak suffered a bloody nose following a clash of heads with Samantha Chappell.
However, midway through the first half Arsenal extended their lead further. A corner was swung in from the right and central defender Casey Stoney used her considerable height advantage to place a header into the top corner just beyond the reach of Cherie Rowlands in the Bees' goal.
Despite the scoreline, the Bees did not allow their work rate to drop and were looking more solid defensively as the half wore on, limiting Arsenal's chances and ensuring that they did not stretch their lead further before the break.
This pattern continued into the opening stages of the second half, but the Bees were undone once more after 57 minutes when half time substitute Danielle Carter broke into the box and dribbled around Rowlands before tapping over the line at the second attempt.
Arsenal's fifth came 12 minutes later with Carter once again playing a key role. The winger broke forward before sliding a well weighted pass through the Bees defence for Knaak to run on to and score her second of the evening with a clinical finish.
The Bees' best chance of the evening came with ten minutes remaining when substitute Sydney Hinchcliffe roamed forward and played through Lucy Loomes, but her low shot was comfortably saved by Siobhan Chamberlain.
Arsenal were still not done though, and registered their sixth on 83 minutes. Casey Stoney played a perfectly weighted long ball forward for Alex Scott to run onto, who produced a superb finish to clip the ball high over Rowlands and into the net.
The right back then grabbed a second just four minutes later, roaming forward into the box once more and converting a first time effort into the top corner after being teed up by Christie Murray.
It capped a difficult night for the Bees who were always going to be up against it playing against a side of Arsenal's calibre. The result keeps the Bees bottom of their group, while the emphatic scoreline put Arsenal to the top.
Arsenal: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Scott, Leah Williamson, Yukari Kinga, Casey Stoney, Niamh Fahey, Jade Bailey, Jordan Nobbs (sub Danielle Carter 45mins), Freda Ayisi, Turid Knaak (sub Taome Oliver 78mins), Christie Murray.
London Bees: Cherie Rowlands, Samantha Chappell, Emma Davies, Aoife Hurley, Billie Brooks (sub Samantha Carson 65mins), Laura Miller, Lucy Loomes, Amber Gaylor (sub Sydney Hinchcliffe 69mins), Anneka Nuttall, Rebecca Anderson, Amy Cooper (sub Paula Howells 45mins).
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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