Arsenal set for, not one, but TWO FA Cup finals this month

Arsenal Ladies 5-3 Chelsea 01

The Gunners have not one, but two FA Cup finals to look forward to over the next few weeks, following a remarkable 5-3 win for the Arsenal Ladies over the Chelsea Ladies at Woking’s Kingfield Stadium over the weekend. (Highlights here and photo gallery here.)

While the men eye glory this weekend for the club’s first trophy since 2005, Shelley Kerr’s team will be looking to defend their title when they face Everton Ladies on June 1 at MK Dons.

Just as with the men’s semi-final versus Wigan, this one was no stroll in the park either. Arsenal went behind twice, and the end of the second half injury time saw the teams tied at 2-2 with all 4 goals in the last 20 minutes of the game. Veteran Kelly Smith had a penalty saved in the first half, but was responsible for two equalisers in normal time – both times drawing level only a minute after the Chelsea goals. She also assisted Danielle Carter’s goal in extra time (Arsenal’s third), while Carter assisted Shinobu Ohno for the fourth (and the Japanese player’s second in as many matches). Chelsea’s Eniola Aluko made it 4-3 in the 104th minute, hinting at a possible comeback, before Casey Stoney headed in the ball in the 109th minute to seal an Arsenal win. The Gunners are now in their eighth FA Women’s Cup Final in nine years, having won the trophy 12 times in their history. Kerr will obviously hope that they make it 13 in June, but there is a heavy fixtures list to be focused on before that.

Arsenal are away to Reading today in the Continental Cup group stages, before hosting WSL newcomers Manchester City on Sunday, May 18 at Boreham Wood for their first home league game of the season.  They then play another home game versus Birmingham City on Wednesday, May 21 (KO 7.45pm) before welcoming Bristol Academy on Sunday, May 25 (KO 2pm). Ticketing information can be found here and you can visit the Arsenal Ladies on Facebook, Twitter and on their webpage to buy your FA Cup final tickets and keep yourselves updated with all the news. (Speaking of features, take a look at our keeper Siobhan Chamberlain’s YouTube channel for the new ‘Arsenal Ladies on the Spot’ segment.)

There is an exciting opportunity for boys and girls aged 5-13 before Arsenal’s game versus Bristol Academy at Meadow Park, Boreham Wood. The club is hosting a session that will include an hour of coaching and the chance to meet some of the Arsenal Ladies’ stars. It will run from 11.30am-1.15pm, before the match kicks off at 2pm. More information and details on how to book can be found here.

The session will be open to boys and girls aged 5-13. It will include an hour of coaching and the chance to meet some of Arsenal Ladies’ star names. The session will run from 11.30am-1.15pm, followed by Arsenal Ladies v Bristol Academy, at Meadow Park, Boreham Wood FC.

And last but not least, check out this match report on the FA Cup semifinal by Gunners Fair guest regular, Emmet McEvoy. He’s going to be writing a preview of the Cup final for the column so you have that to look forward to as well!

For now, stay sane and stay positive, next stop – Wembley!

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.

Anushree Nande

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