Eighteen years after first gracing the FA Women’s Cup Final as a 15-year-old, Rachel Brown-Finnis was in her fourth final on Sunday.
But, unfortunately, she couldn’t add to her solitary winners’ medal - claimed in 2010 against Arsenal - as her Everton side were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal in front of 15,098 at MK Dons’ Stadium:MK.
The 33-year-old could do nothing about either goal, one scored and one provided by the outstanding Kelly Smith.
Burnley-born Rachel was in action early on, bravely racing out of her goal to deny the rapid Danielle Carter, at expense of a corner, before she was beaten by Rachel Yankey’s 20-yarder, only to see it hit the post.
And on 14 minutes, when Alex Greenwood brought Carter down on the edge of the area, Smith curled a sumptuous effort past Brown-Finnis’ left hand into the corner of the net.
Arsenal’s superior pressing enabled them to maintain control, but Brown-Finnis was not worked again until just before the break when she grabbed the ball on the line to prevent Carter bundling in a second.
Just after the break, Smith curled an effort against the far post, before Japanese midfielder Yukari Kinga’s follow up was deflected into Brown-Finnis’ hands.
Kinga doubled the lead just after the hour with a clinical finish into the corner from Smith’s pull back.
Arsenal continued to press, and would have had a third but for the save of the match from Brown-Finnis, showing a strong right hand to turn over a half-volley from Shinobu Ohno after a one-two with Carter, before Alex Scott fired straight at her long-time England colleague.
Brown-Finnis then got down to her left to save from Yankey, before, in injury time, Arsenal again hit the woodwork, through left back Emma Mitchell.