Arsenal Ladies 4 (Smith 50' 53' 66', Scott 55') - Bristol Academy 3 (Matthews 1', Watts 35' pen, Pablo Sanchon 86')
Starters: Byrne, Scott, Mitchell, Stoney, Fahey, Williamson, Nobbs, Yankey, Carter, Bailey, Ayisi
Subs: Smith for Stoney 45', Weir for Ayisi 85'
Unused Subs: Chamberlain, Ohno, Kinga, Sampson, Humphreys
Well that was certainly a roller coaster ride of a match. After one of the worst first half performances in a while for the Arsenal Ladies, they found themselves in a 2-0 hole at halftime. Not exactly a pleasant place for a brand new manager to be in his first game in charge. However, in what we can call a bit of pure tactical genius, Losa put Smith into the game right at halftime and my goodness did she make an immediate impact.
Smith provided a classic display of her trademark heroics. Just five minutes after entering the match, Smith scored her first of three goals on the day and then followed up with another just three minutes later to tie the game up at two. Bristol Academy was understandably shellshocked because, well, Smith is 35 years old and dealing with injuries. Yet she pulls out performances like this from time to time that make you question how she can even be considering retirement. I offer my apologies as I know that's a bit hyperbolic, but sometimes its just hard not to be in awe of Kelly Smith.
Anyways, back to the match. Captain Alex Scott added another just minutes later, and in the blink of an eye the Arsenal comeback was complete. Smith would of course add another to complete the hat-trick, it was only proper to do so, and as a result the late consolation goal for Bristol Academy was unimportant.
Up next, manager Losa will surely be looking for a better first half from his squad as they face Liverpool. A win would most likely keep the Gunners in fourth place, but still keeps them in the fight for a higher spot on the ladder.