Arsenal Ladies were keen to get off to winning ways now that the
England girls have returned from the World Cup and their League
programme can finally begin. They did just that, beating a
newly-promoted Watford containing a number of former Arsenal
It took six minutes for Kelly Smith to set Lianne Sanderson up
with a cut-back in front of goal which gave the champions an early
lead. But a slight lapse in concentration in the 16th minute gave
Watford the opportunity they were looking for and they duly
The next goal was probably the goal of the night as Katie
Chapman blasted the ball into the back of the net from 30 yards.
Katie deserved this goal, continuing where she left off last season
with another good, solid midfield performance.
Lianne Sanderson doubled her tally to make it 3-1 when the ball
fell loose after Smith's corner.
Halfway through the first half, the Ladies were starting to show
elements of why they won all four trophies last season. Some
fantastic combination play on the edge of Watford's penalty box
between the England trio Sanderson, Smith and Karen Carney almost
led to their fourth goal.
Instead, Watford reduced the deficit with a goal after a corner
five minutes before half-time. Carney responded with an tricky run
down the right wing, sending in a perfect cross for which the
Watford keeper plucked almost directly off the top of Smith's
Arsenal drove on after the break and further goals from Carney
in the 54th minute, Sanderson in the 60th minute - to complete her
hat-trick - and a penalty converted by Smith in the 64th minute
gave them a 6-2 win.
Two young international substitutes, Gemma Davison and Gilly
Flaherty, came on for Chapman and Smith in the 69th and 80th minute
respectively. England captain Faye White was absent after suffering
an injury during the World Cup quarter-final against the United
States in China.
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