The Bees fell to defeat against an Arsenal team who boasted several international superstars on a tough evening at Meadow Park.

The Gunners were too strong on the evening and found themselves three goals ahead at the break before adding more after the break. They were ruthless against a Bees side who gave everything for the full 90 minutes.

The Bees had an opening inside a minute as Pickett found Gamby, but her header was well saved by Magnin in the Arsenal goal.

But it was the WSL champions who took the lead as Katie McCabe slotted home from close range.

The hosts continued to have chances but found Quantrill in inspired form as she kept them at bay for large periods.

At the other end, Pickett broke clear and forced Magnin into another good stop as we looked to level, despite the Arsenal pressure.

We defended resolutely throughout and boss Lee Burch will have no doubts about the effort his side put into the game against a team hotly tipped to be the best in Europe come May.

Eventually our resistance was broken when McCabe slotted home a second 15 minutes before the break.

It was soon three for the hosts as Filis touched home to give the hosts a controlling lead at Meadow Park.

The Gunners came out firing at the start at the second half and added three further goals through McCabe, Mead and Evans. The hosts team of internationals showing their quality.

We held firm again until the 76th minute where Filis headed past Quantrill to add a seventh to the hosts tally.

Further goals were added through Quinn and Evans to add further pain to the scoreline, but it was always to be expected against this kind of opposition.

It means the Bees finish fourth in our Conti Cup group ahead of the other two Championship teams. A tough night for the Bees but one they can only learn from going forward.

We will look to move on quickly as we take on Blackburn Rovers in FA Women’s Championship action at The Hive London on Sunday.

Bees: Quantrill, Wilson, West, Robert, Brooks, Pickett, Gibson, Whinnett, Dench (Ward-Chambers ’59), Gamby (Forman ’79), Will (Horwood ’45). 

Unused subs: Finburgh, Hazelton.