Sticking with the FA Cup goodness here on The Short Fuse, the Arsenal Ladies are now one step closer to defending their FA Cup title from last year. Today the gunners took on Gillingham Ladies and earned themselves a victory.
Arsenal Ladies 2 (Kelly Smith 63' 81') - 0 Gillingham Ladies
Starters: Chamberlain, Scott, Mitchell, Stoney, Williamson, Murray, Kinga, Ohno, Carter, Smith, Yankey
Subs: Bailey for Carter 82'
Unused Subs: Byrne, Fahey, Bragg, Ayisi
Lets calm down everyone and lets take a deep breath because yes, you are reading that right. Not only a start, not only a full 90 minutes played, not just a goal, but a brace. Queen Kelly Smith has begun her ascension. Her first goal was scored on a penalty, and the second was a beautiful shot fired into the top corner.
For some reason we can't talk about Kelly Smith all day, so lets move on to discuss the rest of the team's performance. Arsenal dominated the whole match, seemingly holding all of possession on Gillingham's side of the field. Essentially it just came down to if and when Arsenal would finish. Which seems to be turning into an ominous theme for this team in the early goings of 2014.
Now who will Arsenal play in the next round? There will be a draw to determine the matchups, and it will include the other teams that won today. Let's take a look.
Manchester City 2 - 1 Reading
Notts County 2 - 1 Coventry
Birmingham City 3 - 1 Donny Belles
Portsmouth 2 - 1 Durham
Chelsea 2 - 1 Bristol Academy
Everton 3 - 1 Cardiff
Liverpool 2 - 0 Sunderland
My bet is that Arsenal draws Manchester City and has to take on Steph Houghton for the first time since she's been gone (anybody? nobody? Kelly Clarkson?) or Birmingham City in a rematch of that less than spectacular Champions League tie. Either way its worth noting that Arsenal Ladies, along with Liverpool Ladies, were the only two teams to post a shutout this round. Defense!
We shall of course have an update with the results of the draw and some lovely insight into said matchup. Friendly reminder the final will be Saturday, June 1st at MK Dons. Hopefully we will be celebrating a back to back Arsenal Ladies FA Cup title.