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Saturday, 11 August, 2001, 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK
Arsenal Ladies 5-2 Doncaster
Angela Banks was one of Arsenal's star players
Angela Banks was one of Arsenal's star players
Arsenal 5-2 Doncaster Belles

Arsenal won the inaugural women's Charity Shield in an action-packed game at Kingstonian's Kingsmeadow Stadium.

Angela Banks and Jayne Ludlow were the stars of the show for last season's treble winners, who deservedly won the first silverware of the new campaign.

Goals flowed thick and fast in the early stages, with Ciara Grant opening the scoring for Arsenal after just four minutes.

A quickly taken free-kick left Grant in plenty of space and she calmly curled the ball home past Leanne Hall.

Doncaster Belles were level within a minute, Melanie Garside twisting past two defenders before rifling a left-foot shot into the far corner of the net.

Arsenal regained the lead after 11 minutes when the outstanding Banks burst down the left flank before delivering a delicious ball across the face of goal that Ludlow prodded home.

Vic Akers' side, who won the treble last season, began to dominate proceedings and Marieanne Spacey made it 3-1 after escaping the attentions of Belles defender Becky Easton.

Grant should have made it four shortly after but headed wide when well placed and Banks hit the crossbar after 27 minutes with an outrageous chip that left Hall stranded.

Doncaster were struggling to create chances but Garside did find herself in space after 29 minutes only to fire her right-foot shot high and wide.

An absorbing opening period ended with Spacey, who will retire from football at the end of the season, missing a penalty after Hall was booked for a late lunge on Clare Wheatley.

Belles striker Karen Walker gave her side hope when she pulled a goal back after 48 minutes following a tremendous pass from England international Karen Burke but the game was put out of reach with 19 minutes remaining.

Ludlow surged clear and her low, right-foot drive beat Hall at her near post.

Banks wrapped things up in the final minute, lashing home a fierce right-foot shot to cap a wonderful individual performance.

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See also:

07 Jul 01 |  Football
Arsenal eye Euro glory
02 Jul 01 |  Womens Euro 2001
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