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Arsenal and Everton ease to semis

By Tony Leighton

Lianne Sanderson
Lianne Sanderson helped Arsenal to the semi-finals with a brace

Arsenal, Everton and Leeds United all reached the semi-finals of the FA Women's Cup with comfortable sixth-round victories.

England striker Lianne Sanderson scored twice for holders Arsenal, as they sealed a 5-1 win over Birmingham City.

Sanderson's England colleague Rachel Unitt also bagged a brace as Everton won 3-1 at Newcastle United.

Leeds beat Cardiff City 5-1 to book a tie against Everton in the semi-finals while Arsenal will face Lincoln City.


Arsenal 5-1 Birmingham City

Striker Becky Hall shot the Blues into a shock 20th-minute lead, but by half-time Arsenal were 2-1 in front through Julie Fleeting and Sanderson.

Goals by right-back Alex Scott and Sanderson in the first 10 minutes of the second half effectively won the game for the Gunners.

And for good measure right-winger Karen Carney scored against her former club 15 minutes from time.


Newcastle United 1-3 Everton

Everton put themselves on the way to the semi-finals with goals by midfielder Fara Williams and Unitt in the opening 13 minutes.

Unitt hit her second of the afternoon midway through the second half and it was not until four minutes from time that Rachel Furness grabbed Newcastle's consolation goal.


Cardiff City 1-5 Leeds United

Terri Beddows gave the Bluebirds hope when she equalised Steph Houghton's fifth-minute opener.

But by half-time the visitors were two goals in front as Sophie Bradley and Houghton found the net within five minutes of each other.

Houghton completed her hat-trick midway through the second half and Jade Moore wrapped up the scoring five minutes from time.


Revised semi-finals draw:

Lincoln City v Arsenal

Everton v Leeds United

Ties to be played on Sunday 16 March

Women's Premier League

Bristol Academy 2-0 Watford

Bristol, second in the table, moved to within four points of leaders Arsenal with a hard-fought victory.

Justine Lorton gave them a first-half lead, but it took a stoppage-time goal by substitute Cheryl Williams to kill off Watford's challenge.


Charlton Athletic 1-1 Liverpool

Bottom-club Charlton collected their third point of the season with a well-earned draw.

The Addicks took the lead after just two minutes through Claire Williams, whose first goal for the club flew in just under the crossbar.

But a poor defensive clearance led to Cheryl Foster heading the equaliser.

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