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Arsenal 5 Charlton Athletic 0
Arsenal set up a SSE FA Women's Cup semi final clash with Everton by knocking out the last FAWPL side left in the competition, Charlton Athletic, by five goals to nil at Boreham Wood FC.
Leading only by a Kim Little penalty at the break despite almost total domination, Arsenal added four second half strikes to make the final score a closer reflection of the strength and variety of their attacking options.
Arsenal were given an early boost by a spot kick, awarded when Beth Mead went down in the fourth minute. Little dispatched the penalty low to Katie Startup's right. Arsenal continued to press and despite the occasional lone raid by Kit Graham in her 200th match for the Addicks, the Charlton defence was under the cosh for most of the half.
By and large the visitors coped admirably with the test, getting blocks and interceptions as the hosts weaved patterns around the edge of the area. When the defence was breached, Startup produced good saves to deny Danielle Carter, Little and Mead and keep the deficit to one at the break.
Danielle van de Donk crashed a 20-yard shot against the bar before Heather O'Reilly scored the second from close range on 56 minutes. Vivianne Miedema added the third with a bullet header, her first touch after coming on after 59 minutes and later rattled the underside of the bar from 15 yards.
Charlton stuck admirably to their task with every player working hard to close down the opposition whilst the defenders got in numerous vital interceptions from crosses as Arsenal continued to probe for openings. Eventually, Lisa Evans, on for Alex Scott, set up the fourth with a right wing cross turned home by Carter on 85 minutes.
Almost the final kick of the match brought possibly the pick of the goals as Jordan Nobbs measured a perfect hit from 25 yards over the leaping Startup and just under the bar for Arsenal's fifth.
The huge gap in resources between the clubs was clearly shown by the firepower which the Gunners could summon from the bench who contributed to the second half display which took them one step nearer a return to Wembley. Charlton Athletic. beaten but by no means disgraced. have a crucial two months ahead as they seek the FAWPL Southern Division title and possible play off glory.
Alex Moorhouse, Alex Scott, Leah Williamson, Louise Quinn, Katie McCabe, Danielle van de Donk, Kim Little, Jordan Nobbs, Heather O'Reilly, Danielle Carter, Beth Mead. Subs: Sari van Veenendaal, Lisa Evans, Vivianne Miedema, Dominique Janssen, Emma Mitchell.
Katie Startup, Chloe Brunton-Wilde, Olivia Lukasewich, Grace Coombs, Charley Clifford, Charlotte Gurr, Hannah Churchill, Sam Pittuck, Nicole Pepper, Kit Graham, Hope Nash. Subs: Georgia Griffin, Charlotte Lee, Kim Dixson, Daisy Monaghan.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Charley Clifford and Grace Coombs try to stop Danielle Carter
(middle) Leah Williamson clears away from Georgia Griffin
(bottom) Danielle van de Donk is challenged by Kit Graham
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