THE Belles were given a lesson in chance taking as they matched last year’s champions for most of the game but let themselves down in front of goal.
Arsenal made a flying start when Ellen White was left unmarked to head them in front at the near post following a corner from Rachel Yankey.
But the home side rallied to play some god football at times with Precious Hamilton outstanding as a lone striker working tirelessly to unsettle the Gunners defence.
Hamilton set up a great chance for Aine O’Gorman in the 31st minute but the Irish winger’s shot was parried by visiting keeper Emma Byrne.
The Belles striker went close herself from 25 yards just before the interval and O’Gorman had another effort saved early in the second half.
But it was Arsenal who scored again in the 47th minute when Kim Little hammered home a stunning shot from 20 yards following a quickfire counter attack.
Hamilton was not far off the mark again with a low drive in the 57th minute but Arsenal clinched the issue ten minutes later when Little headed home the rebound after Julie Fleeting had hit the crossbar.
* Belles are at home to Everton this Thursday (7.45pm) and are giving away 2,500 free tickets for the match on a first come first served basis.