Arsenal Ladies extended their unbeaten League run in emphatic style with a fine 4-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.
Welsh international Jayne Ludlow grabbed a hat-trick to take her season's tally to nine goals in 16 appearances. Julie Fleeting was also on target - she now has 22 goals from just 14 starts for the Gunners this season.
The Ladies' first goal came after 17 minutes when a Kelly Smith shot rebounded off a post to the feet of the onrushing Ludlow. She simply slotted home into an open net.
Seven minutes later, with Blackburn still reeling from Ludlow's first effort, Arsenal extended their lead with 'Luds' providing the finishing touch yet again. Connecting with a deep cross, the former long-jumper struck home a fierce volley which deceived the Rovers 'keeper and nestled in the bottom corner.
Blackburn seemed content to defend deep in the hope of catching Arsenal out with a swift counter-attack. However, chances for Rovers were few and far between and half-time arrived without Emma Byrne, the Arsenal goalkeeper, having to muddy her gloves.
Any hope Blackburn had of getting back into the game was quickly extinguished when, on 52 minutes, Fleeting got her just reward following a mazy run into the box with a low shot into the goal for Arsenal's third.
By this point Blackburn were dead and buried and a fourth Arsenal goal looked inevitable. It duly arrived 15 minutes from time and gave Ludlow her first hat-trick of the season. Lianne Sanderson cleverly dummied a pass into the box, leaving the ball for Ludlow to pick her spot with ease.
Arsenal now sit in third in the FA Women's Premier League table, one point behind Leeds United and Charlton but with two games in hand.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Dec 2006