By Max Jones at Meadow Park
Arsenal Ladies came from a goal behind to beat Everton 3-1 in their final Women’s Super League game of the season at Meadow Park on Sunday.
The Gunners were looking for a win to give them momentum going into Thursday’s Continental Cup final against Manchester City.
They were made to work hard for it though, as Nikita Parris turned in from close range to give Everton the lead. Arsenal levelled before half-time when Rachel Brown-Finnis deflected Jordan Nobbs’ 30-yard strike into her own net. Danielle Carter and Nobbs secured the victory.
SETTING THE SCENE
Pedro Martinez Losa made three changes to the side that drew 3-3 with Liverpool. Siobhan Chamberlain replaced Emma Byrne in goal while Vyan Sampson and Jade Bailey came in for Niamh Fahey and Yukari Kinga.
After a slow start to the season, Arsenal had finished strongly and approached this final league game unbeaten under Losa’s guidance, having spectacularly come from behind to beat Bristol Academy three weeks ago.
On the other hand, Everton had failed to win a single game this season and were playing for pride after their relegation from the top tier of women’s football - for the first time in 21 years - was confirmed.
Despite an opening 10 minutes on the front foot, Arsenal fell behind. Danielle Turner’s low cross from the left was spilled by Chamberlain and Parris was on hand to turn it in from four yards.
The Gunners did react but Brown-Finnis made fine saves to deny Carter and Shinobu Ohno. At the other end Chamberlain redeemed herself with a low save before Casey Stoney threw herself at Parris’ shot.
Nobbs grew in influence as the game went on, linking up well with Carter, Yankey and Ohno, and rattled the post with a low drive from 25 yards before crashing an effort against the crossbar from just inside Everton’s half.
This time, however, the ball bounced off the woodwork and in via Brown-Finnis’ back, giving the hosts a deserved equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
Arsenal seized control of the game towards the end of the first half and they only had to wait four minutes after the break until their dominance was reflected in the scoreline.
Carter latched onto a deflected ball over the top and buried it into the bottom corner to complete the comeback.
The striker continued to threaten and tested Brown-Finnis with a low half-volley before the goalkeeper denied Freda Ayisi minutes later.
The result was put beyond doubt with a minute to play when Nobbs rounded the onrushing goalkeeper and slotted home to give Arsenal that extra bit of confidence going into the Continental Cup final on Thursday.
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