Aston Villa made the six-times FA Cup winners battle for their place in the quarter-finals yesterday.

On a picth that helped to upset Arsenal's normal passing game Villa took full advantage of this and performed well in the first half with the Villa keeper making three very good saves to deny Arsenal.

It was not until the second half on 62nd minute that Scotland striker Julie Fleeting broke the deadlock,by calmly converted a perfectly placed cross from Kirsty Pealling after she had made a great run down the right flank.

Lianne Sanderson then scored a 75th-minute penalty, after Fleeting was jugded to have been fouled. Arsenal where then awarded a second penalty just five minutes later when Sanderson herself was encrouched. Sanderson stepped up for a second time but was denied two in a row by a great save from the keeper.

A stoppage-time goal by Republic of Ireland midfielder Ciara Grant completed the scoring to ensure Arsenal's quarter-final place, which sees them have to contended with a London derby away to Chelsea on Sunday 12th February.

Arsenal continue their back-log of away games with the long journey upto Sunderland this Sunday 5th Feb to take on the 8th placed Northern side.  Their next home game will be Fulham on 26th February.

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29 Jan 2006