Arsenal 3 v 0 Bristol Academy – Women’s FA Cup Final
The Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster played host to this year’s Women’s FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Bristol Academy.
Arsenal took an early lead after only two minutes, when Steph Houghton arrived late at the far post to score with a powerful header past Siobhan Chamberlain, following a Rachel Yankey cross.
Bristol came close to drawing level five minutes later, when Lucy Staniforth’s low corner hit the Arsenal post before bouncing into the six yard box for Jemma Rose, who could only put her shot over the bar.
Bristol’s near miss seemed to make Arsenal step up another level, key international players such as Kim Little, Rachel Yankey, Steph Houghton, Jordan Nobbs and Ellen White took control of the game.
Siobhan Chamberlain then produced two world class saves from Ellen White within five minutes. The first effort saw White turn in the box and hit a snapshot which Chamberlain tipped over the bar.
The second save took you back to Gordon Banks against Pele, following a cross from Rachel Yankey, White hit a shot from 5 yards out, which bounced into the floor and looked to be looping over Chamberlain, but somehow the Bristol goalkeeper managed to stretch out a hand and flick the ball over the crossbar.
The final chance of the half fell to Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs, who collected the ball in her own half before running down the right wing and cutting into the box. Nobbs then curled an angled drive back off the far post and luckily straight into the arms of Chamberlain in the Bristol goal.
Bristol started the second half well and had a number of chances, the best of which fell to Lucy Staniforth, who forced Emma Byrne in the Arsenal goal to get down well at her near post to turn a free-kick behind for a corner.
The game was then stopped for about 7 minutes, after Lucy Staniforth fell to the floor in agony, she looked to have twisted a knee on landing following a headed challenge and had to receive gas and air on the pitch before being stretchered off the field.
The injury seemed to affect Bristol and when the game restarted Arsenal quickly assumed control and doubled their lead just minutes later.
Gemma Davison won a challenge with Bristol captain Corinne Yorston on the right wing and delivered a pinpoint cross, which Jordan Nobbs headed back across goal and into the far corner of the net.
Jordan Nobbs had a chance to score a third goal six minutes from time, when she latched onto a Gemma Davison’s through ball. However Chamberlain in the Bristol goal came off her line bravely to deny the 20-year-old a second goal.
Arsenal did score a third goal in the fourth minute of added time, as Ellen White smashed the ball into an empty net, following an excellent save from Siobhan Chamberlain after Jordan Nobb’s close range effort.
The goal sealed a fine Arsenal win and allowed them to claim their seventh cup win in ten years, whilst extended the Gunners’ record to 12 Cup triumphs and the first trophy for Arsenal’s new manager Shelley Kerr .
Arsenal – Byrne, Houghton, Flaherty, Grant, Nobbs, White, Yankey, Davison, Beattie, Little, Scott (Subs) Spencer, Tracy, Carter, Bailey, Bruton
Bristol Academy – Chamberlain, Dykes, Yorston, Matthews, Pablos-Sanchon, Windell, Watts, Heatherson, Rose, Harding, Staniforth (Subs) Kyle, McCatty, Curson, Del-Rio, James
Goals – Arsenal – Houghton (2), Nobbs (72), White (90+4)
Attendance – 4,988