Sunday 25 September 2011

Arsenal 4-1 Birmingham

Arsenal Ladies won the inaugural FA WSL Continental Cup thanks to some clinical finishing.

Two first half goals in a minute, followed by two wonder strikes from Rachel Yankey sealed the win.
Birmingham had the better of the opening stages, the first decent chance coming from Jo Potter, her 30-yard free kick fizzed inches over the bar.

It took Arsenal 25 minutes to get effort on goal, Yankey’s powerful drive stinging the hands of Birmingham keeper Marie Hourihan.

But The Gunners took control seconds later with two goals in quick succession.

First, Katie Chapman’s long-range effort was deflected onto the bar; Ellen White converted the follow up.

Then virtually from the restart, Danielle Carter’s cross from the right was converted by the head of captain Jayne Ludlow.

Birmingham upped the pressure after half time and Karen Carney almost pulled one back 10 minutes into the second half with a shot that was tipped away by Emma Byrne.

Rachel Williams went close from the edge of the box before Jodie Taylor brought a save from Byrne from eight yards out.

Meanwhile at the other end a fine save from Hourihan denied Carter after she struck a fierce 20-yard drive, before Arsenal’s third goal with 25 minutes to go, a fine 25-yard Yankey free-kick.

The England winger’s curling 25-yard effort took a deflection and bounced into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

Birmingham pulled a goal back with 18 minutes to go thanks to substitute Isobel Christiansen.

She’d only been on the pitch a matter of seconds when a Williams header looped towards goal, and Christiansen got the better of Byrne to bundle the ball in.

But Yankey sealed the win with the goal of the game with six minutes to go.

From20-yards out she swivelled and powered home a wonderful left foot volley which gave Hourihan no chance.

Birmingham’s misery was complete in stoppage time when Rachel Williams was sent off for two bookable offences.

Arsenal Ladies: Byrne, Houghton, Ludlow ©,  Flaherty, Grant,  E. White (Beattie, 87)  Yankey, Carter ( Nobbs, 69)  Little,  Chapman, Fahey

Substitutes not used: Spencer, Tracy, Ladd

Goals: E White 26, Ludlow 27, Yankey 65, 84

Birmingham City: Hourihan, Weston, Harrop, Bassett ©, Susi ( Christiansen, 71) Williams, Carney, Potter, Moore, Taylor, Westwood

Substitutes not used: Hall,  Stanton, Pond, Ballard

Goals: Christiansen 72

Yellow Cards: Williams 54
Red Cards: Williams 90+1

Referee: Sash Ihringova
Referee’s Assistants: Nigel D’Arcy, Michael Evans

Fourth Official: Natalie Walker
Attendance: 2167


Pos Teams P GD Pts
1 Arsenal Women 7 30 21
2 Manchester City Women FC 8 20 18
3 Birmingham City Women FC 7 1 13
4 Chelsea FC Women 8 0 13
5 Reading FC Women 7 1 11
6 Liverpool FC Women 7 -7 9
7 Bristol City Women FC 7 -6 8
8 West Ham United Women FC 7 -8 7
9 Brighton & Hove Albion Women FC 7 -10 4
10 Yeovil Town Ladies FC 7 -14 3
11 Everton Ladies FC 6 -7 2
Pos Teams P GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur Ladies FC 7 13 18
2 Manchester United Women FC 6 26 16
3 Charlton Athletic Women FC 7 14 16
4 Durham Women FC 7 10 15
5 Leicester City Women FC 7 0 10
6 Sheffield United Women FC 6 -2 9
7 Lewes FC Women 7 -6 9
8 London Bees FC 8 -10 6
9 Aston Villa Ladies FC 7 -16 5
10 Crystal Palace Ladies FC 7 -6 4
11 Millwall Lionesses FC 7 -23 1