Arsenal Say Hello To League Cup Trophy But Goodbye To Smith And Scott

Mary O'SheaSenior Writer IMarch 11, 2009

In front of a crowd of just under 3,000, Arsenal Ladies breezed past Doncaster Belles to claim their 10th Women's League Cup title.

It turned out to be a particular poignant victory for Arsenal pair Kelly Smith and Alex Scott as they played their last match for the North London side before setting off to America to join the Boston Breakers of the newly formed American League.

Smith went out in style and in the only way she knows how—by scoring a hat-trick in the 5-0 rout.

The game was barely six minutes old when Smith tapped in from one yard after good work from Kim Little who skipped past the Doncaster keeper before squaring up to the ball for the Arsenal number eight.

Smith added her second goal of the night on the half-hour with another assist from Little. Little floated in a cross from the left, which Smith controlled, then rode two challenges before she slotted the ball into the corner of the net.

Within 15 minutes of the restart, Smith had got her hat-trick that all but sealed the trophy for the Gunners. It was a smashing goal from a smashing player as Smith turned on the edge of the box before lashing the ball into the net.

To make a perfect night even better, Smith and Scott combined to score Arsenal's fourth, with Scott latching on to a Smith ball and confidently lobbing the Doncaster keeper.

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Arsenal manager Vic Akers' replaced Smith in the 88th minute to give a debut to Lauren Bruton but it was the other debutant who grabbed the headlines as Suzanne Grant added Arsenal's fifth with two minutes left on the clock.

In her final season for Arsenal, Kelly Smith played 21 games scoring an amazing 31 goals while defender Alex Scott played 24 times scoring on two occasions.

On departing both players had nothing but good things to say about the Arsenal setup.

“The way Arsenal Ladies run from top to bottom is just so professional,” Smith said after last week’s victory. “They are well supported by the men’s club and it’s a pleasure and an honour to play for them.
“I think we’re head and shoulders above everybody, just in terms of the players we have individually. We all work hard for each other and want the same goals. There’s a winning mentality installed at the top. Vic Akers has been involved for over 20 years and he wants nothing but wins each week. The unbeaten record is still there and long may it continue."

Scott added "I just want to take it to the next level so when I hopefully come back to Arsenal in a few years I’ll be a much better player.

“There’s such a good structure at Arsenal from the academy to the first team. The game is always improving and long may it continue – it’s going in the right direction."

I'm sure Arsenal LFC wish Kelly and Alex all the best in America, and hopefully they will return to Arsenal in some capacity in the future.

In the meantime, Arsenal continue their quest for more trophies.

Following the 3-1 defeat of Leeds, Arsenal have secured an FA Cup semi-final with Everton to be played on March 22.

The Gunners will also contest the London County Cup semi-final after beating West Ham in the semi-final. They will play Crystal Palace on a date as yet to be decided.

Add to this Arsenal retaining top spot in the League and one and all can expect more trophies to be added to the cabinet before the season is out.

If you would like to read more about the Arsenal Ladies' season so far please check out:

Arsenal FC: In A League Of Its Own

Arsenal Ladies: An Update On Events in Europe and the League

Arsenal Hit For Six As They Crash Out Of The Women's UEFA Cup

Arsenal Bounce Back From UEFA Cup Heartbreak But America Will Just Not Go Away

Can Anyone Halt The Arsenal Express Train?

Arsenal Ladies Still Invincible, But Lose Carney To America

Arsenal Ladies' Biggest Fear Comes To Life: Three Key Players Head For The Exit