England star is back in an Arsenal shirt for their victory over Birmingham.
Arsenal 4-2 Birmingham City
The FA WSL
Sunday 24 June 2012
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Arsenal Ladies opened up a five-point gap at the top of The FA Women’s Super League table after recording a comfortable 4-2 victory over second-placed Birmingham City Ladies on Sunday.
It was a perfect way to welcome England star Kelly Smith back into the Arsenal fold after an ankle injury had ruled her out of action since re-signing for the club back in March.
Both sides had entered Sunday’s encounter with unbeaten starts to the league campaign, but it was Arsenal who emerged with that record intact after 90 minutes. Gemma Davison opened the score for Arsenal before Kim Little lashed in from close-range to double their lead at the break.
Steph Houghton’s speculative long-range effort slipped through Becky Spencer’s fingers to make it 3-0, but Birmingham clawed one back just four minutes later when Rachel Williams nodded in.
Any hopes of snatching a share of the spoils were dashed with 21 minutes left when substitute Jennifer Beattie restored Arsenal’s three-goal lead. Jodie Taylor managed to grab a further consolation for the visitors in the 82nd minute, but Arsenal held on to secure a much-deserved victory.
The returning Smith hailed her side’s “professional” display: “I think the first half we really tried to dominate the game. We played it round in nice patches.
"I think it was quite comfortable for us. A pleasing performance all round really. These are our biggest rivals – to pick up a win, we’re ecstatic really.”
Elsewhere in The FAWSL at the weekend, Bristol Academy drew 1-1 with Everton, Liverpool won 2-0 at Doncaster Rovers Belles while Lincoln beat Chelsea by the same scoreline.
For more details on all of these games, and to keep up to date with The FA WSL throughout the season visit the official League website: www.FAWSL.com