Rachel Yankey scored a hat-trick as Arsenal Ladies hit six for the fourth successive game. Gilly Flaherty, Kim Little and Kelly Smith also notched, the latter scoring her 15th goal of the fledgling season.
Two late replies from the visitors were not enough to stop Arsenal cruising through to the Second Round of the League Cup.
Although there were a number of changes to the line up, Arsenal repeated their recent habit of hitting teams early. It was England winger Yankey who struck in the first minute after Alex Scott had used her burning pace to full affect down the right flank. Scott’s by-line cross was despatched by Yankey with her first touch of the game.
It was almost a carbon copy for Arsenal’s second in the 13th minute as Scott again provided the cross for defender Flaherty to convert her first goal of the season.
With the game continuing at a frenetic pace, Charlton hung on well, with Becky Musial making a number of fine saves to keep the visitors in the game. That was until just past the half hour stage when Little saw her in-swinging corner sail straight into the top far corner of the net after Becky Musial, in the visitors’ goal, misjudged the flight and pace of the ball. Smith was on hand just 7 minutes later to make it 4-0 before the break.
After the break Charlton seemed to recover their shape and kept Arsenal at bay for most of the second period. The visitors managed a reply with a wonderful 25-yard strike from midfielder Kimberley Dixson that sailed over the advanced Rebecca Spencer in goal.
Arsenal then replied twice in quick succession with Yankey scoring twice in as many minutes to secure a hat-trick before Rosie Webb grabbed a very late 2nd for Charlton.
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