England close gap with win in Malta
Thursday, 20 May, 2010
Hope Powell's team go level with group leaders Spain.
By Tony Leighton in Malta
England maintained their 100 per cent World Cup qualifying record with a comfortable victory that could have been more emphatic with sharper finishing.
Hope Powell’s team started their campaign with an 8-0 home win against the Maltese and it was no more difficult for them against the same opponents in Ta’Qali.
Fara Williams bagged a brace while Faye White, Kelly Smith, Jess Clarke and Ellen White hit a goal apiece as England drew level with Spain at the top of Group Five.
As well as putting her name on the scoresheet striker Ellen White, making her first senior start, twice hit the woodwork with the first of her near-misses arriving after just six minutes.
Sixty seconds later England took the lead through Faye White, the captain climbing to head home left winger Rachel Yankey’s cross.
Yankey then provided the 15th minute pass for striker Kelly Smith to volley in a six yard shot for the second goal.
The one-way traffic continued but it was not until just before the half-hour that goal number three arrived via midfielder Fara Williams’ superbly struck 20 yard drive.
Either side of half-time Ellen White and right winger Jess Clarke missed good chances to stretch the lead.
But Clarke made amends in the 56th minute, side-footing the ball into the roof of the net from Smith’s neat pull-back.
And Ellen White did likewise in some style eleven minutes later, a mazy run taking her past six defenders before sliding the ball in from 10 yards.
Williams completed the scoring with her second goal of the afternoon, a close range shot from a cross by substitute Karen Carney.
The win has put England level with Spain at the top of Group Five and with a game in hand on the Spaniards, who they meet next month in the sixth of their eight qualifiers.
Costantino; Chircop, Dagostino, Pace, Theuma, Fenech (Saliba 90); Parnis, Cuschieri, Carrabott, Vella (Debono 63); G. Zahra (Xuereb 71).
Subs not used M. Zahra, Sammut, Zammit, Azzopardi.
Brown (Everton); A. Scott (Boston Breakers) (Susi (Chelsea) HT), F. White (Arsenal) (Dowie (Everton) 74), Stoney (Chelsea), Rafferty (Chelsea); Chapman (Chicago Red Stars), Williams (Everton); Clarke (Leeds Carnegie), Yankey (Arsenal) (Carney (Chicago Red Stars) 64); E. White (Leeds Carnegie).
Subs not used Chamberlain (Chelsea), J. Scott (Everton), Bassett (Leeds Carnegie), Unitt (Everton)
Referee Ms S Marte (Norway)