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Arsenal face Leeds in Cup final

By Tony Leighton

Kelly Smith
Kelly Smith scored a brace as Arsenal cruised into the final

Arsenal will play Leeds United in the FA Women's Cup final after the two sides came through contrasting semis.

Kelly Smith and Lianne Sanderson hit two goals apiece as holders Arsenal ran up a comfortable 5-1 victory over Northern Division side Lincoln City.

But it was a different story in the other semi-final, with Leeds beating Everton 5-4 on penalties.

It completed a hat-trick of shoot-out successes for Leeds after they also beat Bristol Academy and Chelsea.

FA Women's Cup semi-finals

Everton 0-0 Leeds United (aet, Leeds won 5-4 on penalties) (at Haig Avenue, Southport)

Goalkeeper Carly Telford was the Leeds heroine, saving an early Fara Williams penalty and keeping out a number of other goalbound efforts.

But Williams was the Everton villain, not only having her spot-kick in normal time saved but also skying her shoot-out penalty high over the bar.

Everton made most of the running, but Williams set the tone when her fourth-minute penalty was comfortably stopped by Telford.

In the first attack mounted by Leeds, left winger Olivia Thakray sent a 10th-minute shot high over the bar from an excellent position 10 yards out.

In an evenly contested first half, the only other scoring opportunity arrived five minutes before the break, but Everton striker Natasha Dowie's 12-yard shot flew just wide.

There were few chances in the second half, too, until substitute Jo Potter's 86th-minute shot was cleared off the Leeds line by central defender Jess Wright.

Two minutes later, Dowie forced a fine diving save from Telford, who then had to go full length to keep out Potter's last-minute free-kick.

Everton keeper Danielle Hill did not have to make a save until the 12th minute of extra time, but she did well to turn substitute Katie Holtham's goalbound effort for a corner.

Telford was again the Leeds saviour six minutes into the second period of extra time, this time diving to push right winger Jody Handley's low, 15-yard shot past the post.

When it came to penalties, all of them were well taken except for that of Williams, who drove the ball a good yard over the top.


Lincoln City 1-5 Arsenal (at Sincil Bank, Lincoln)

Arsenal had victory wrapped up with four goals in the opening half-hour, striker Kelly Smith starting the procession in the eighth minute.

Smith's strike partner Lianne Sanderson added goals in the 14th and 21st minutes, then Smith grabbed her second as the Gunners threatened to mount a massive score.

Lincoln pulled a 33rd-minute goal back through Sophie Barker, however, and it was not until the 80th minute that Jayne Ludlow added Arsenal's fifth.

Women's Premier League

Charlton Athletic 0-0 Chelsea

In the Premier League's only fixture, Chelsea had most of he play but could not find a way past 16 year-old Sian Jenkins, who made a fine debut in the Charlton goal.


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