Arsenal's treble hopes were boosted at the weekend when they cruised past Fulham while title rivals Charlton slipped up.

Vic Akers' side were rarely troubled in their 5-1 victory against a Fulham side managed by former Ladies star Marieanne Spacey.

Jayne Ludlow scored a brace in the first half with a well timed header off a superb cross by Anita Asante and then her second by converting a one-on one with the keeper. To give Arsenal a narrow 2-1 lead at the interval after Thomas, as former Arsenal youth player, took full advantage of a mix up between Tracey and keeper Byrne at the back.

Arsenal came out stronger in the second half and it was 18 year old Sanderson who helped to increase the gap further after she was released down the right flank with a 20 yard pass from McArthur. Sanderson took it in her stride and carmly convert by sliding it pass the on rushing Fulham keeper.

Jayne Ludlow the Welsh international then completed her hat-trick with an almost identical goal to her first after she rose highest to yet another sweet cross from Asante.

Rachel Yankey then wrapped up the game grabbing Arsenal's fifth with 10 mins to go by slotting in a rebound off the post from a fiercely struck shot from Kelly Smith. The win for the defending champions, helps to keep them in full control at the top of the table, with three pionts over second place Everton.

Arsenal's quest for third successive Premier League title received a flip when Charlton were held to a 0-0 draw by Bristol Academy, meaning they are now 5 points behind with only one game in hand.

Copyright 2014 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 26 Feb 2006