Arsenal travelled to Nottingham Forest for their last pre-season
friendly before kicking off their title defence - and came away
with another emphatic win after a strong, and convincing
Kelly Smith opened the scoring after four minutes with a superb
free kick, struck with technical brilliance into the top right-hand
corner leaving the keeper no chance.
Forest quickly regrouped and kept Arsenal at bay for a while
but, on the half-hour mark, Katie Chapman scored her third goal
since joining the club with a volley from 18 yards out after
pouncing onto a ball knocked down by Lianne Sanderson. Smith then
added her second to make it 3-0 at the interval.
The second half was only 10 minutes old when Smith completed her
hat-trick with her best goal of the night, sending a delightful lob
over the keeper from all of 20 yards. She then grabbed
Arsenal's fifth, converting a penalty which Dan Buet won after
coming on as a substitute.
Arsenal finished Forest off in the latter stages of the game
when Gemma Davison scored another spectacular long-range effort
from 20 yards before Jayne Ludlow scored the seventh, latching on o
a through ball and slotting the ball pass the advancing keeper.
The victory means Arsenal remained unbeaten during their
pre-season campaign having scored 30 goals and conceded only one.
They will go into the start of the season full of confidence.
However they travel to Blackburn next Sunday without stand-in
captain Ludlow, who is away on international duty and Leanne Champ,
Faye White and Yvonne Tracey all out with knee injuries.
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