By Jen Wade
Although the start of the match saw rain, it was met by high energy levels from both teams at Borehamwood Football Club. Arsenal took the early lead, dominated the game and completed five wins in five successive games in the Tesco Women’s Premier League, retaining their position at the top of the table.
Arsenal Ladies flew off to an excellent start, with Kim Little scoring the first goal for Arsenal, after a superb cross by Kelly Smith fell perfectly for the young Scot just two minutes into the game.
A fierce steady pace saw the next 15 minutes through, a clear possession led by Arsenal, but not without Doncaster’s share of tackles.
The second goal came in the 17th minute, carried down the left wing by Little, passed to Smith just outside the box, and tapped in by Karen Carney who received the pass from Smith at the near post.
Doncaster’s first chance of a goal came midway through the first half for Doncaster, a strike which went straight in to the arms of Byrne, posing no real threat to the Gunners. The Belles kept up their determination but struggled to match the skill and Arsenal reached a three goal lead in the 21st minute. Powering down the left wing, Carney crossed the ball straight in to the top right of the net, making it her second goal of the game.
Minutes later saw Doncaster take their second strike at the goal, which was boldly deflected by Ciara Grant.
The first substitution of the match was by Doncaster 30 minutes, Sarah Owen was bought on for Chelsea Weston and this was soon followed by a missed opportunity for Arsenal by Ludlow, as she took the ball up to the penalty box and passed to Carney, instead of taking a well positioned shot for herself.
Smith managed to net the 4th goal of the match minutes before half time.
After the break, the Gunners Arsenal continued to dominate possession and Captain Ludlow managed a couple of good shots on target, both knocked over by the keeper before Vic Akers made his three substitutions of the match in the 63rd minute. Julie Fleeting, Katie Chapman and Niamh Fahey came on for Gilly Flaherty, Yvonne Tracy and Gemma Davison.
Doncaster still held their game, and with a momentary lack of communication in the Arsenal defence Doncaster snapped up their first goal, delivered by Elizabeth Hanson in the 74th Min.
The game didn’t end there, and Arsenal still managed to bag two more goals before time. The 79th minute welcomed a goal from Ludlow as she converted a corner taken by Smith and two minutes later, Smith scored her second of the game, her 14th goal of the season so far.
- Flaherty 63
- Tracy 63
- Ludlow Goal!
- Little Goal!
- Carney Goal! Goal!
- Davison 63
- Smith Goal! Goal!
- Fahey 63
- Chapman 63
- Fleeting 63
- Weston 30
- Hansen 78 Goal!
- Johnson 60
- Rich 78
- Heckler 60
- Owen 30