Arsenal Ladies fight back to beat Birmingham City and reach semi-finals

Kelly Smith helped fire Arsenal Ladies past Birmingham City: Action Images

Kelly Smith helped fire Arsenal Ladies past Birmingham City: Action Images

First published in Sport

Arsenal Ladies came from a goal behind to reach the semi-finals of the Women’s FA Cup against Birmingham City.

The Gunners fell behind after half an hour to a header from Remi Allen, but goals from Kelly Smith and Fredi Ayisi sealed the turnaround.

Shelley Kerr’s side had been knocked out of the Champions League by the Blues earlier in the season and were in the mood for revenge from the off, Ayisi firing wide from 25 yards early on.

Birmingham grew into the game however and took the lead on 30 minutes when Allen met Kirsty Linnett’s cross to head Birmingham into the lead from six yards.

Casey Stoney tried her luck immediately after the restart for the Gunners, but saw her tame header easily held by Blues’ Rebecca Spencer.

Six minutes before the break, the Gunners were awarded a penalty for handball against City’s Jade Moore.

Smith stepped up to score the penalty, sending Spencer the wrong way.

Nine minutes after half-time, the victory and a safe passage into the semi-finals was secured.

Danielle Carter’s inch-perfect through-ball split the Blues defence and found Ayisi, who slotted home.

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