Leeds United 1-4 Arsenal

FA Women's Cup Final City Ground Monday, May 5, 2008, 1pm

By Matt Fortune

Kelly Smith continues to live the dream at Arsenal.

The England star grabbed two goals as the Ladies eased past Leeds United in Monday's FA Women's Cup Final. It was a third successive triumph in the competition for the Gunners; it's also three years since Smith joined the Club.

The prolific forward returned to England after seven years in the United States where she won worldwide recognition for her performances. And after victory at the City Ground she revealed that winning the country's premier knock-out competition always remains high on the list of priorities.

"It is always important to win the major trophies," said Smith. "That is what you play the game for. It is every girl's dream to play in a Final. I am lucky enough to have played in three now, all great games with great crowds which is a big help and spurs us on.

"Full credit to all those that came out to support the women's game today.

"The first year [I played in the Final] will always be special to me because it came after I had been out of the country for seven-and-a-bit years. I had never played in one before I went to play in the States and have now played in three with Arsenal.

"Obviously we are delighted to have won the League again as well. That gets us into Europe which is really important to us."

But as with all great sportsmen and women, Smith is particularly hard on herself despite success.

"I got a couple [of goals] but I think I could have had a couple more," she said after the match at the City Ground. "I missed a few chances and I think [as a team] we were a little bit frustrated at first.

"We kept knocking on the door and lacked a bit of composure. That was addressed at half-time and we got the goal early on then."

The win over Leeds sealed another domestic 'double' for the Gunners. Smith, though, thinks that such domination is far from guaranteed in the future.

"Leeds are a young side, learning, developing all the time and if they can stay together and continue to develop, they are the team to watch in my mind," explained Smith. "There is of course Everton too but it is all good for the women's game to have competition and full credit to them."


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6 May 2008