Arsenal Ladies boss signs off with win over Everton to complete FA Cup double

07:16 03 June 2014

Yukari Kinga celebrates after scoring the second goal for Arsenal Ladies

Yukari Kinga celebrates after scoring the second goal for Arsenal Ladies


Shelley Kerr brought the curtain down on her 16-month reign as head coach by guiding the Gunners to FA Women’s Cup glory at Stadium MK.

Goals from inspirational captain Kelly Smith and Yukari Kinga enabled the holders to record their 13th success in the competition – an ideal response after suffering three straight home defeats in the league.

The margin of victory may have been greater were it not for the heroics of Toffees’ stopper Rachel Brown-Finnis – but Kerr, who guided Arsenal to FA Continental Cup glory and now two FA Women’s Cups, was full of praise for the players she is now leaving behind.

“I thought the girls were fantastic. It was nothing new to me – they’ve trained liked that every day I’ve worked with them,” said Kerr, who announced her resignation last week.

“In most of the games this season, we’ve seen evidence of what we’re capable of producing. Unfortunately so far, up until now, we hadn’t been consistent over 90 minutes.

“We dominated with a fantastic team performance. It was a thoroughly deserved win and I’m really proud of them.”

It was Smith, England’s all-time record goalscorer, who set the Gunners on their way to a men’s and women’s FA Cup double for the first time since 1998.

And Kerr, who succeeded Laura Harvey as head coach in February 2013, was lost for superlatives to describe the ability of a player who now has four FA Cup winners’ medals with Arsenal.

“She’s just incredible,” added the outgoing coach. “She’ll hate me for saying this, but she’s 35 years old! You will never see a player like her in England again, she is so talented.

“Every time she takes a free-kick, I’m almost writing on my note pad ‘it’s a goal’. That’s the quality she has – she is a fantastic leader. Kelly is not the most vocal person, but she leads by example on and off the pitch.”

Arsenal were the better side throughout, and had already seen Rachel Yankey’s 25-yard shot hit a post before Smith struck the opener just shy of the quarter-hour mark.

Danielle Carter, a constant threat down the right, was upended on the edge of the box, allowing Smith to curl the ball left-footed beyond the outstretched Brown-Finnis for her sixth goal in this year’s competition.

Carter was denied a goal of her own making when her left-foot shot grazed the post, while Shinobu Ohno also came close to doubling Arsenal’s lead before the interval.

But there was little that could be done to prevent the craftsmanship involved when the Gunners’ second goal arrived on the hour-mark.

Determined to avenge their 3-2 defeat to the Toffees in the 2010 final, Smith hurdled a couple of desperate challenges before finding the onrushing Kinga, who placed her right-foot shot low inside the right-hand post.

Arsenal are not in action again until later this month, but Kerr is in no doubt that whoever replaces her at the helm will be joining a side moving in the right direction.

She added: “Arsenal are a fantastic club and they gave me an opportunity to work with a fantastic group of players, and I had an opportunity to work with some of the most talented youngsters in the country.

“There is no doubt in my mind they will go on to be successful. Half our team are 21 and under, which is brilliant.

“The future is definitely bright, that’s for sure.”

Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 18:15
John Ryder (right) in action against Nick Blackwell in ttheir British middleweight title fight at the O2 Arena in May

John Ryder’s trainer is hoping a new nutritional regime can revitalise the Islington star’s career as he prepares for his comeback fight this weekend.

Yesterday, 12:21
Arsenal Ladies' Jordan Nobbs battles with Kathleen Radtke of Manchester City Women (right) during the Gunners' 1-0 win in the Continental Cup

Midfielder Jordan Nobbs is determined to finish her frustrating season on a high by helping the Gunners to regain the Continental Cup.

Wed, 16:05
Jordan Grannum (red shorts) defeats William Warburton at the Camden Centre. Pic: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo

Islington welterweight Jordan Grannum made a successful start to his professional career as he eased to a comfortable points win over William Warburton at York Hall.

Wed, 16:00
Highgate Harriers' Andy Maud. Pic: Dieter Perry

Andy Maud stole the show in only his second appearance for Highgate Harriers on Saturday, recording the best time of all the club runners at the National Six Stage Road Relays.

Wed, 15:50
Mile End (dark blue) lost 3-1 to Shakespeare in the Hackney & Leyton Sunday League.

Mile End remain top of the Hackney & Leyton League Premier Division despite losing 3-1 against a rejuvenated Shakespeare.

Wed, 15:46
Judo player Luca Veras (left) with Sensei Basil Dawkins

Islington youngster Luca Veras claimed his third consecutive gold medal on Sunday since graduating to red belt level in the summer.

Mon, 13:10
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game against Manchester United

What we predicted

Mon, 07:00
Arsenal's Hector Bellerin and Manchester United's Ashley Young battle for the ball (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was full of praise for Hector Bellerin after the full-back’s excellent performance in the win over Manchester United.

Most read sport


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder