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Sunday, 1 September, 2002, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Gunners shoot six
Arsenal striker Angela Banks
Angela Banks bagged a brace for the Gunners

Angela Banks and Jayne Ludlow hit two goals apiece as Women's Premier League champions Arsenal opened their campaign with a comfortable 6-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers.

Like Tranmere, Southampton Saints and Birmingham City, the Gunners had missed the first two weeks of the new season due to international calls.

That allowed Fulham to build up a six-point lead over the title-holders by winning their first two games.

And the Cottagers maintained their 100% start by beating Brighton 6-0 to stay on top of the table.

Arsenal 6-0 Tranmere Rovers

Three goals in the opening half-hour set up Arsenal for a big win at their new St Albans home ground.

Striker Banks set them on the way then midfielder Ludlow scored twice in quick succession.

Second half goals by Ciara Grant and Ellen Maggs put the result beyond doubt before Banks hit her second.

Brighton 0-6 Fulham

Former Arsenal and England striker Marieanne Spacey scored on her belated Fulham debut as the Cottagers strolled to an easy victory.

The game was as good as won once Sanchia Duncan, Margunn Haugenes and Deena Rahman had each scored in a six-minute spell midway through the first half.

Haugenes doubled her goal tally and Rachel Yankey hit the fifth before Spacey, returning to action from a knee injury, completed the scoring in stoppage time.

Charlton Athletic 4-0 Southampton Saints

Jo Broadhurst bagged her fifth goal of the campaign in a victory which kept Charlton in second place in the table.

Striker Broadhurst scored just before the half hour after midfielder Alexa Hunn had given the home side the lead.

Second half strikes by Casey Stoney and Emma Whitter wrapped up the Addicks' victory.

Everton 1-4 Doncaster Belles

England captain Karen Walker scored twice to help third-placed Doncaster Belles record their second successive win.

Walker's England colleagues Vicky Exley and Jody Handley put the Belles in command with two goals in the first half.

Everton reduced the arrears through Sara Whewell as the home side enjoyed their best spell of the match early in the second period.

But Walker put the game beyond the home side with two headed goals in three minutes during the closing stages.

Birmingham City 1-1 Leeds United

An equaliser by England Under-17 striker Eniola Aluko gave newly promoted Birmingham a well-deserved draw on their National Division debut.

Aluko was denied twice by England keeper Leanne Hall but also missed a simple chance as Blues created the better first-half openings.

Leeds looked more dangerous after the break and took a 54th minute lead when England winger Sue Smith scored her first goals since moving from Tranmere in the close season.

But 15 year-old Aluko levelled the scores when she slid a 65th minute shot past the advancing Hall.

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25 Aug 02 | Football
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