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Smith leads Arsenal to FA Cup success

1 June 2014

A stellar performance from captain Kelly Smith helped Arsenal Ladies lift the FA Women's Cup at stadiummk on Sunday, in front of 15,098 spectators.

Smith scored a spectacular curling free-kick in the first-half before setting up Yukari Kinga to fire low into the bottom right-hand corner.

Arsenal currently sit bottom of the Women's Super League after four games but gave the type of performance that manager Shelley Kerr would have been looking for.

England international Smith opened the scoring 15 minutes into the match when her curling free-kick flew into the top corner past Everton goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis.

The Blues' looked for an immediate response and were unfortunate to see Millie Turner head over from Michelle Hinnigan's corner and Kelly Jones came close to get onto the end of another Hinnigan cross but it made it's way through to Emma Byne in the Gunners' goal.

Hinnigan was next to try her luck for the Merseysiders' midway through the first-half when she played a neat one-two with Kelly Jones, but could only fired straight at goalkeeper Emma Byrne. 

At the other end Danielle Carter continued to cause problems for the Everton defence and after a trademark mazy run she drove her low shot just wide.

Kelly Smith looked to have double Arsenal's lead just after the interval but her curling effort rebounded off the post to Yukari Kinga who fired over. 

Kinga then found herself unmarked after good work again from Smith, the 35-year-old evaded Gabby George's challenge before teeing up the Japanese World Cup winner for Arsenal's second of the afternoon. 

Carter should have done better when she headed over from Rachel Yankey's in-point freekick and then her shot from close range was deflected wide for a corner by George. 

Arsenal continued to push though and saw Shinobu Ohno fire over from a Rachel Yankey corner and Alex Scott fire her attempt straight at Brown-Finnis.

Everton struggled to find a reply once two goals down, Nikita Paris long-range effort went a long way wide of Byne's goal and Kelly Jones shot just wide after cutting inside from the wing. 

Another direct run from Carter saw the ball find it's way back to Smith who took her time before finding Emma Mitchell but the defender saw her shot come back off the bar. 

Ohno and Kinga both came close late on but it didn't matter as Arsenal claimed their first win and silverware of the season in spectacular fashion.

Arsenal Ladies (4-4-2): Byrne; Scott, Stoney, Fahey, Mitchell; Carter, Bailey (Williamson 76), Kinga, Yankey; Smith (c), Ohno.

Subs not used: Chamberlain (GK), Murray, Weir, Ayisi

Goals: Smith 15, Kinga 61

Everton Ladies (4-5-1): Brown-Finnis; Jones (Murphy 62), Johnson, George, Greenwood; Jones, Chaplen, Hinnigan (c), M Turner (Magill 71), D Turner (Whelan 82); Parris.

Subs not used: Walsh, Whipp

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Attendance: 15,098

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