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Bristol 0-4 Arsenal | FAWSL

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Published on Sep 4, 2012

Bristol 0-4 Arsenal | FAWSL
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Arsenal boss Laura Harvey was delighted after her side sealed a comfortable Continental Cup semi-final victory at Bristol to set up a repeat of last year's final.
The Gunners, current holders of the trophy, will face Birmingham City in next month's showdown after Gemma Davison's first-half strike and goals from Kelly Smith, Rachel Yankey and substitute Jennifer Beattie made sure of victory.

Arsenal had been held to a 1-1 draw at Borehamwood by Bristol last week, but the outcome of this meeting was never in doubt once England striker Smith curled home a spectacular 30-yard free kick (pictured) to put the visitors 2-0 up in the 70th minute.

"Once that went in, it changed the game completely and the result was never in doubt -- it was all us over the final 20 minutes," said Harvey.

"Kelly still has top quality and although it takes a lot to get the ball off Steph Houghton at a free kick, I though this one was right for a left-footer. She showed with her strike what she brings to the table and she has scored two top-quality goals in the last week.

"Getting to cup finals is what Arsenal are all about. We were disappointed not to reach the FA Women's Cup final this season, but now October will be a big month for us because we have the UEFA Champions League as well."

Bristol boss Mark Sampson felt this was a game too far for his side, who had already been through testing games against Arsenal and Birmingham in the previous seven days.

"I just thought that caught up with us and we weren't our usual selves. We had played the best two teams in the country -- and Arsenal twice -- in the space of a week and it had taken a lot out of us, both physically and mentally," he said.

"But we will rest up now and be ready for Saturday's game at Doncaster."

The first half was an even affair until Davison fired hom from the edge of the box through a crowd of players just before the interval.

But once Smith curled home a delicious left-footed strike from a free-kick to double the Gunners' lead 20 minutes from time, Arsenal were firmly in command.

Three minutes later, Rachel Yankey forced home the third ftom Alex Scott's cross -- and substitute Jennifer Beattie had been on the pitch for only three minutes when she got her name on the scoresheet.

She made a powerful burst down the right and forced her way past two challenges before firing home the fourth goal.

Though Nikki Watts hit Arsenal's post in the closing minutes, there was to be no way back for the Vixens.

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