Arsenal Ladies cruised to a comfortable victory over Leeds in the women's FA Cup final at the New Den. The Gunners were 3-0 up at half-time after a rampant first 45 minutes aided by some calamitous play by their Yorkshire opponents.
Leeds' Lucy Ward gave Arsenal the perfect start when she headed into her own net, past goalkeeper Gemma Fay, after three minutes. The score was extended to 2-0 when Julie Fleeting slotted the ball past Fay after being played through brilliantly by Leanne Sanderson.
Fay was caught out for the third goal as a free-kick from distance by the impressive Rachel Yankey on the right flank caught her flat-footed and the ball sailed into the net. After the break the England international Kelly Smith made it 4-0 from the penalty spot after Yankey had been brought down by Jess Clarke. Sanderson turned goalscorer with 13 minutes left, chasing the ball down the right and getting clear of the defence before pushing it through Fay's legs.
Fay's performance kept the scoreline down. First she did well to palm away a curled Yankey effort, before denying Fleeting from six yards and then Yankey again from an angle. Leeds' best chances fell to Karen Burke, but twice her speculative efforts from wide on the right failed to trouble the Arsenal goal.
Arsenal Ladies: Byrne, Scott (Daniels, 84), Phillip (McArthur, 78), White, Champ, Ludlow (Grant, 74), Smith, Anita Asante, Yankey, Fleeting, Sanderson. Substitutes not used: Pealling, Davidson.
Leeds Ladies: Fay, Burke, Cook (Walton, 52), Preston (Owen, 85), Emmanuel, Smith, Walker (Panesar, 85), Ward, Clarke, Haigh, Culvin. Substitutes not used: Grundy, Clough.
Referee: P Crossley (Kent).Reuse content