Natalia lands a knockout blow
NATALIA Pablos’ first-half goal saw Arsenal gain revenge for last season’s Continental Tyres Cup defeat by Manchester City and reach the semi-finals.
Pablos scored the game’s only goal in the 34th minute with a neatly taken volley as Arsenal held on to knockout the holders, despite late pressure from City.
And Leah Williamson was delighted the north London side were able to stay in the hat at City’s expense.
“Last year’s final was always in the back of our minds and we know how good a side City can be,” she said.
“After going 1-0 up it was all about defending, which we managed to do, and it was a great result for us.”
In FA WSL 2 last weekend, victory for Doncaster Rovers Belles secured their promotion. And they will be joined in the top-flight next season by Reading, after third-placed Yeovil suffered a surprise defeat.
In-form striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk scored twice for Doncaster in a 2-1 victory over London Bees. Emma Whitter had opened the scoring for the Bees in the 18th minute, but SweetmanKirk’s goals either side of half-time sent Doncaster up with two matches to spare.
She said: “It feels amazing. It puts a few demons to bed. Promotion is promotion and we’re ecstatic.”
Reading also confirmed their place in WSL 1 next season with a 3-1 away win over Watford.
Goals from Melissa Fletcher, Helen Ward and Rachel Rowe put Reading 3-0 up, before Ellie Mason scored a late consolation for the hosts.
The race for the title is now top of the agenda, with Reading three points behind Doncaster but a game in hand.
And Fletcher believes the title could be decided on goal difference: “Goals on top of the win would be a bonus, as the league may come down to that, but three points were the minimum and we’re delighted with that.”
Yeovil Town’s promotion hopes ended with a 1-0 home defeat to Oxford United.
Kayleigh Hines scored the winner as Yeovil slipped eight points adrift of second with two matches left.
There was little but pride to play for as Aston Villa beat Millwall Lionesses 2-1 thanks to a stunning 80th-minute overhead-kick from Katie Wilkinson.
Rinsola Babajide put Millwall 10 up before Bethan Merrick and Wilkinson scored second-half goals to complete a comeback.
In WSL 1, Manchester City thrashed Bristol Academy 6-1 before their cup defeat to Arse- nal, ensuring the title will be decided on the final day.
Isobel Christiansen scored twice while Jill Scott, Lucy Bronze, Nikita Parris and Georgia Stanway grabbed a goal each.
Caroline Weir netted late on for Bristol, but the result saw them condemned to FA WSL 2.
The league leaders and City’s title rivals Chelsea went top of the league with an impressive 4-0 away win over Liverpool.
Star forward Ji So-Yun scored twice for the Blues, while England internationals Frank Kirby and Eniola Aluko each bagged a goal in a dominant display from the would-be Champions.
And Kerys Harrop scored an 88th-minute winner for Birmingham as they sealed their top-flight survival with a dramatic 1-0 win over Notts County.