By Oliver Yew
Arsenal midfielder Katie Chapman believes Laura Harvey's young side are developing well as they head into the mid-season break in the FA Women's Super League despite dropping points in a 2-2 draw with Bristol Academy on Thursday.
Chapman, who is captaining the side in the absence of the injured Faye White, rued her side's inability to finish Bristol off but insists the Gunners are still firmly in the title race.
"We dominated the first half and we should have scored the goals that finished Bristol off but unfortunately in the second half we let them back into the game," she told Arsenal.com.
"But heading into the mid-season break we are definitely still in the race for the league. The season has just started really and there is a long way to go."
Harvey's squad has been badly affected by injuries to key players such as White and Jayne Ludlow but Chapman believes Arsenal are developing well.
She said: "We have got a very young side at the moment and we have a lot injuries.
"Faye is out and Jayne hasn't played this season so we are dealing with what we've got. We are doing well and trying to build as team. We are getting stronger with every game and we can only keep that going."
Arsenal were well on course for three points in Bristol after goals from Ellen White and a freak goal straight from a corner gave them a 2-1 advantage going into the closing stages.
But Bristol, who are the Gunners' opponents in the FA Women's Cup Final a week on Saturday, hit back through former Gunner Corinne Yorston with three minutes to go.
Chapman believes that Thursday's game will not have much bearing on the re-match at the Ricoh Arena.
She said: "In an FA Cup Final anything can happen. It's a big game and a great occasion and a nice cup to win.
"The FA Cup Final is a different game. We need to pick ourselves up from this because we are not happy with our performance and the result but we are looking forward to another great game in the Cup Final.
"The girls lost the Final last year when I was in America but I was so disappointed. It wouldn't be nice to lose another one so hopefully we can go out there and put a better performance on."Copyright 2017 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