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Football - 13. April 2011.

Arsenal and Doncaster Belles record tight wins on FA WSL opening day

Gilly Flaherty scored the first ever FA WSL goal to give Arsenal Ladies a tight 1-0 victory over Chelsea earlier today in front of a record crowd of 2,510, while Doncaster Rovers Belles beat Lincoln Ladies by a goal to nil thanks to Vicky Exley.

By David Brenchley

Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal

Arsenal got their Super League campaign off to a winning start but their opponents served a warning that the league will not be as easy to win as it has been in the past.

19-year-old defender Gilly Flaherty converted a Kim Little corner after a flick on from Player of the Match Ellen White on 35 minutes but Chelsea had plenty of chances to trouble the scorers.

The Gunners got off to a better start as Rachel Yankey and Katie Chapman both threatened Carly Telford's goal but the Blues defence was up to the task.

Chelsea's strikers then had a chance each to give the hosts the lead; Helen Lander fired over from 25 yards before Hayley Moorwood played Ashlee Hincks in but her effort was wild.

White had two chances either side of Flaherty's goal to get her league debut off to a scoring start when she latched onto a couple of through balls.

She looked odds on to score on both occasions but, first her former Leeds team mate Gemma Bonner timed a tackle to perfection then, having taken the ball round Telford, she slammed a shot into the side netting.

It was Flaherty, though, whose strike was decisive just 10 minutes before the interval. Little swung in a dangerous corner and White rose high to nod it to the penalty spot where the centre back was lurking and she poked home.

The second half was quieter and the only two real chances both fell to Chelsea winger Danni Buet. On 70 minutes one of her corners almost flew into the top corner and then, 10 minutes later, she had a long range effort which Emma Byrne saw wide.

In between those chances, Buet put a tempting ball into the six yard area but the stretching Lander could not get enough on it and the Gunners held out to record the victory.

Lincoln 0-1 Doncaster

A 45th minute Vicky Exley goal was enough to give Doncaster a 1-0 victory at Sincil Bank in front of a crowd of 742 people.

Midfielder Exley turned home a cross from Precious Hamilton just minutes after Carla Cantrall picked up a Remi Allen flick only to see her lob land just wide of the goal.

Ther Lady Imps pushed in the second half and dominated their more established opponents and Sue Smith hit the post with a fantastic long range effort but it was not to be for the hosts.

WSR will have reaction to both games tomorrow. Follow me on Twitter for updates on women's football news and matches.

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