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Arsenal Ladies win Continental Cup after win over Birmingham City at Barnet
9:34am Thursday 11th October 2012 in Sport
Arsenal Ladies completed a domestic double after beating Birmingham 1-0 in the Continental Cup final at Barnet.
Birmingham created the first chance but England international Eni Aluko fired inches wide.
Rachel Yankey twice went close for the Gunners before Kim Little turned just outside the box and crashed in an effort that flew off target.
Kelly Smith’s 25-yard free kick clipped the crossbar on its way over as Arsenal stepped up the pressure.
Birmingham’s biggest threat was Aluko and only an outstanding save from Emma Byrne prevented the winger from sending them into the break with the lead.
Ellen White came desperately close to breaking the deadlock after 55 minutes but her powerful strike cannoned off the crossbar.
Having created nothing in the first 15 minutes of the half, Birmingham spurned the best chance of the match after 63 minutes.
Rachel Williams charged through after Ciara Grant had misjudged a long pass, but after rounding the onrushing Byrne, she could only side-foot her effort wide.
Arsenal continued to push forward and only another good stop from Rebecca Spencer prevented the instrumental Smith from curling home a free-kick, before Gemma Davison’s effort in the 79th minute beat the keeper but not the post.
With under ten minutes remaining, Arsenal finally grabbed the all-important goal which proved decisive.
Little picked the ball up on the right touchline before cutting inside and unleashing a fierce left-footed drive that flew beyond Spencer and in.