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Holders Everton open with victory

By Tony Leighton

Rachel Yankey
Rachel Yankey scored a hat-trick for Arsenal Ladies

England midfielder Emily Westwood hit the winner as Everton began the defence of their Women's Premier League Cup crown with a 2-1 win over Birmingham.

Last season's runners-up Arsenal beat Charlton 6-2 with England winger Rachel Yankey hitting a hat-trick.

On a first-round day devoid of shocks, Blackburn Rovers were the biggest top flight winners as they trounced Northern Division Rotherham United 7-2.

Bristol Academy eased to a 3-0 win over local rivals Keynsham Town.


Everton 2-1 Birmingham City

Jill Scott shot Everton into a half-time lead, but a minute after the break, striker Amy McCann levelled the scores.

In a hard-fought second period, Westwood fired in what proved to be the winner in the 65th minute.


Arsenal 6-2 Charlton Athletic

Gilly Flaherty, Kim Little and Kelly Smith - with her 15th goal of the season - added to Yankey's hat-trick.

Kimberley Dixson and Rosie Webb replied for the Southern Division Addicks, both goals arriving in the last 20 minutes.


Chelsea 4-0 Barnet

An early goal by Clare Rafferty set Chelsea on the way to a clear-cut victory over the Southern Division Bees.

Lianne Sanderson doubled the score just after the break and Jodian Clarke netted twice in the closing stages.


Blackburn Rovers 7-2 Rotherham United

Natalie Preston, Katie Anderton and Emma McDougall all scored twice as Rovers went goal crazy.

Nicky Harding was also on target for the home side, with Kerry Longstone and Clare Needham netting Rotherham's goals.


Bristol Academy 3-0 Keynsham Town

Southern Division Keynsham battled well but were finally undone by two late Gwennan Harries goals.

Michelle Green hit the local derby's opening goal in the 27th minute, but it was not until the final 10 minutes that Harries' double strike sealed Bristol's victory.


Cardiff City 1-2 Fulham

Goals by Lou Lloyd and Gemma Fraser gave newly-promoted Fulham their first win of the season.

Cardiff, now in the Southern Division following their relegation, cancelled out Lloyd's opener through Natalie Harding but could not draw level for a second time.


Watford 3-0 Crystal Palace (AET)

Southern Division Palace took their top flight opponents to extra time but then capitulated.

Three goals came in 15 minutes as Jodian Clarke, Helen Lander and Sarah Wiltshire shot the Hornets into round two.


Leeds United 1-0 Manchester City

A 22nd-minute goal by Jess Clarke gave Leeds a victory that was more comfortable than the score suggests against Northern Division opponents.

Leeds pressed from the early stages and after taking the lead, hit the bar and had another Clarke 'goal' ruled out for an infringement.


Nottingham Forest 4-2 Liverpool

Like Fulham, their fellow newcomers to the top flight, Forest chalked up a first win of the season.

Jo Edwards put Liverpool in front, but goals by Andi Bell and Natalie Clarke midway through the first half put Forest in control.

Bell and Catherine Lawson, with a penalty, wrapped up victory before Gayle Formston grabbed a late consolation goal for the visitors.


Other first round results:

Brighton 3-2 Truro City

Leicester City 6-2 Aston Villa

Millwall Lionesses 7-1 Ipswich Town

Preston North End 5-3 Curzon Ashton

OHH Lincoln 3-1 Sunderland

Tranmere Rovers P-P Doncaster Rovers Belles

West Ham United 1-2 Portsmouth


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