Arsenal line up Continental Cup final against Birmingham

By Tony Leighton Women's football correspondent
Arsenal's Ellen White
Arsenal striker Ellen White laid on the opening goal for Steph Houghton

Women's Super League winners Arsenal and runners-up Birmingham City will meet in the Continental Cup final after both teams won hard-fought semi-finals.

The Gunners, chasing a treble after already winning both the FA Cup and the WSL, beat Lincoln 3-1.

Birmingham clinched their first appearance in a cup final since 2002 after overcoming Everton 2-1.

The finalists will clash at League Two Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium on Sunday 25 September.

Arsenal 3-1 Lincoln

Both sides went close in the early stages, Arsenal's Steph Houghton having a shot blocked on the line and then striker Lucy Staniforth shooting just wide at the other end.

Defender Houghton also missed a good chance but she made amends in the 29th minute, opening the scoring from striker Ellen White's excellent pass.

Houghton then turned provider as her 36th-minute cross led to striker Danielle Carter sliding the ball in for the second goal.

Lincoln hit back after the break and halved the deficit in the 63rd minute, midfielder Remi Allen rifling in a tremendous 30-yard strike.

But eight minutes later midfielder Kim Little hit the decisive goal, cutting inside two players to curl a shot just inside the far post.

Birmingham City 2-1 Everton

Birmingham gained revenge for their only WSL defeat of the season, but it was hard work after the visitors went ahead in spectacular fashion.

Just eight minutes were on the clock when right winger Toni Duggan sent a brilliantly struck 35-yard drive rocketing into the net.

Striker Natasha Dowie might have doubled Everton's lead in the 27th minute, but from six yards out she sent her effort sailing over the crossbar.

The home side came more into the game after half-time and in the 62nd minute striker Rachel Williams side-footed home her 18th goal in 16 matches to equalise.

Two minutes later Williams' strike partner Jodie Taylor almost put her side in front when she shot inches wide of the target.

But Taylor made no mistake a minute from time, when she finished a fine solo run with an equally good finish to clinch victory.