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 18 52 48
2 Manchester City Women FC 18 36 44
3 Chelsea FC Women 18 23 36
4 Birmingham City Women FC 18 8 34
5 Reading FC Women 18 5 27
6 Bristol City Women FC 19 -16 25
7 West Ham United Women FC 18 -9 20
8 Liverpool FC Women 18 -17 19
9 Brighton & Hove Albion Women FC 18 -22 13
10 Everton Ladies FC 18 -22 9
11 Yeovil Town Ladies FC 17 -38 -3
Pos Teams P GD Pts
1 Manchester United Women FC 18 81 49
2 Tottenham Hotspur Ladies FC 18 15 42
3 Durham Women FC 18 23 38
4 Charlton Athletic Women FC 18 21 35
5 Sheffield United Women FC 18 -5 28
6 Aston Villa Ladies FC 17 -13 21
7 London Bees FC 19 -21 21
8 Leicester City Women FC 18 -13 20
9 Lewes FC Women 18 -16 17
10 Crystal Palace Ladies FC 18 -27 10
11 Millwall Lionesses FC 18 -45 5