FA Cup match report Arsenal Ladies 2 Everton Ladies 0: Shelley Kerr goes out on a high note after Arsenal win 13th Cup
Sunday 01 June 2014
As swansongs go it was sweet indeed for the departing Arsenal manager Shelley Kerr, who a week after giving notice of her resignation with her team at the foot of the Women’s Super League saw her last game in charge marked by a fine performance that brought the Gunners the FA Women’s Cup for the 13th time.
Everton remain the only team to have beaten Arsenal in an FA Cup final, which they did four years ago, but with Arsenal captain Kelly Smith in commanding form there was never any real doubt about the Cup’s 2014 destination from the moment she fired her side in front from a free-kick in the 15th minute.
Smith then set up the Japanese midfielder Yukari Kinga to score the second goal 16 minutes into the second half. At 35 the England star was the oldest player on the pitch, but without question she was also the most influential.
“Kelly’s just incredible,” said the former Scotland captain Kerr. “I don’t think you guys in England will ever see another player like her, she’s fantastic. There were other brilliant individual performances but it was also a great team performance. We thoroughly deserved the win.”
Everton manager Andy Spence was fulsome in his praise of Arsenal’s performance. “The credit has to go to Arsenal,” he said. “They showed their experience from the point Kelly scored a fantastic free-kick. It’s important we learn from this so next time we get to a final we’ll be in a better position to deal with the occasion.”
Arsenal took control after Everton had almost scored through striker Nikita Parris’ angled drive. Kerr’s side were unlucky not to take the lead in the 10th minute, when winger Rachel Yankey’s 25-yard shot bounced off the post.
Arsenal had to wait only five minutes more for the opening goal, however, Smith beautifully arcing her free-kick into the corner of the net.
Everton captain Michelle Hinnigan fired in a long-range effort but goalkeeper Emma Byrne made the save. It was Byrne’s opposite number Rachel Brown-Finnis, however, who was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers.
Brown-Finnis made a good save on the goal-line from the striker Danielle Carter a minute before half-time, but she was well beaten soon after the interval. Fortunately for the Everton keeper, Smith’s curling 15-yard shot bounced back off the far post and away from danger.
There was no way back for Everton when Smith’s pass set up Kinga to slide the ball home from 12 yards. Arsenal almost got a third goal in stoppage time when Emma Mitchell struck the bar. Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Byrne; A Scott, Stoney, Fahey, Mitchell; Bailey (Williamson, 75), Kinga; Carter, Smith, Yankey; Ohno. Substitutes not used: Chamberlain, Murray, Weir, Ayisi.
Everton (4-1-4-1): Brown-Finnis; V Jones (Murphy, 62), Johnson, George, Greenwood; Hinnigan; K Jones, M Turner (Whipp, 71), Chaplen, D Turner (Whelan, 82); Parris. Substitutes not used: Walsh, Magill.
Referee: M Atkinson (West Yorkshire).
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Latest in Sport
Think before you ink: Manchester United fan gets Sir Alex Ferguson tattoo - and will regret it for the rest of his life
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City player ratings: Joe Hart? Thomas Muller? Jerome Boateng? Who was the star man?
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
- 5 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter