Kelly makes goal scoring return as Arsenal reach last four
Kelly makes goal scoring return as Arsenal reach last four

Arsenal Ladies reached the Women’s FA Cup semi-final, with a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Notts County at Meadow Park yesterday.

Kelly Smith, making her first Arsenal start in 10 months, opened the scoring in the 21st minute but the Lady Pies hit back immediately through Sophie Bradley-Auckland (23 minutes) before Aivi Luik (31 minutes) put them ahead.

Notts County striker Ellen White was sent off and Arsenal sent the tie into extra time when Natalia Pablos Sanchon (81 minutes) equalised with nine minutes to play.

There were no further goals in extra-time, with the match decided by penalties. Sari Van Veenendaal saved three spot kicks to give the Gunners the advantage in the tie, before Katie McCabe struck the match winning penalty.

Speaking after the match, Kelly Smith said: “Credit to Notts County – they came here, battled really hard and gave us a very, very difficult game. We knew what we were up against.

We thought we could just settle it for five minutes, but they popped up a couple of minutes after I scored so they were back in the game again. They’re always tough to play against and seem to be our bogey team, but we’re really pleased.

We weren’t good enough to score against 10 players so we’re disappointed on that part, but really pleased that we battled hard to the end. The main thing is that we’re in the semi-final.”

Arsenal are joined in the last four by Chelsea, Manchester City and Sunderland.