A brace each for Kelly Smith and Julie Fleeting ensured Arsenal Ladies maintained their surge towards the league summit with an impressive 4-1 win over Watford.

The match was originally staged in November but was abandoned at half-time with the score goalless.

The visitors looked set to mirror that feat in the rearranged fixture until Scotland international Fleeting converted a Smith cross on the half-hour mark.

Watford didn't allow the deficit to hamper their attacking play and often looked dangerous on the break. However a wonder-strike from Smith midway through the second-period effectively killed the game. Her thunderous drive left the Watford stopper stranded.

A third seemed inevitable and Smith provided it. From fully 30-yards out, the England star rifled the ball goalwards and, although the keeper shuffled across to get a hand to it, it nestled in the back of the net.

That and Fleeting's second sandwiched the Hornets' consolation, scored from a corner. In truth, it was no more than they deserved for a spirited performance.

Arsenal now face back-to-back fixtures against London rivals West Ham United, the first of which is on Sunday in the FA Cup Fifth Round. The match takes place at Borehamwood and kicks off at 2pm. The re-arranged County Cup match then takes place on January 31.

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24 Jan 2008