Arsenal Ladies confirmed their place in the Tesco Women’s FA Cup Final for the fourth consecutive time yesterday as they beat Everton Ladies, arguably their current closest rivals in the women’s game.
The match took place at Bishop’s Stortford FC’s Woodside Park on a sunny afternoon and the Gunners took the lead on 21 minutes. Rachel Yankey netted for Arsenal after Helen Lander’s strong pressure on Everton and England’s number one forced a bad pass from the keeper; Yankey took no time to hit the loose ball into the back of the net securing an early lead.
Arsenal Ladies looked settled and chances kept on coming for the north London side as the first half progressed. The second goal came from Captain Jayne Ludlow after Kim Little curled a great corner into the 12 yard box. The Welsh midfielder applied great power and strength to her well timed jump, scoring a fantastic second goal for Arsenal. Gilly Flaherty claimed the Gunners’ third goal in added minutes of the first half with a confident finish resulting in a great assurance in the Arsenal camp upon the half-time break.
Everton rejoined the pitch for the second half with a positive outlook, which was certainly necessary and key in the Toffees’ first and only goal of the match. Natasha Dowie nipped the ball in the back of the net after Everton were given a free-kick 30 yards out of goal. After bouncing through the 12 yard box, Dowie got the final touch and netted making it 3-1.
Everton remained hungry for goals and almost converted again soon after their first, however, Niamh Fahey saved the current score with a clearance off the line in the 57th minute.
The match continued with further chances from both sides, but the defences were too strong for extra goals.
Arsenal will now face Sunderland in the Final, which will take place at Derby County FC’S Pride Park on Monday 4th May.
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