Hope satisfied with finale
Sunday, 21 October, 2012
England Women's National Coach takes positives from their last game of 2012
Hope Powell said she was satisfied with the way her players ended the calendar year against France.
England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley kept the French at bay in the first half before Steph Houghton and Jill Scott fired the visitors into a 2-0 lead.
However, two defensive errors allowed Marie Delie to bag herself a second-half brace and deny England what would have been a notable victory against a side ranked fifth in the world.
Powell said: "It was a really good contest to end the season.
"I got the chance to look at some players and we were quite pleased that we made five changes during the game and we still managed to gel.
"You have got to give players experience. You have got to let them try different things and play them in different positions. I think they gave a good account of themselves on the whole."
England's National Coach recognised her opponents' quality but said she was upset with the manner in which her side let France back into the game.
A loose back pass from Toni Duggan was seized upon by Delie to make it 2-1 just before the hour mark and the same player capitalised on a mix-up between Casey Stoney and Laura Bassett to level the game late on.
However, Powell will head into 2013 in confident mood, having avoided a third straight defeat against a rapidly emerging nation.
She said: "We didn't play particularly well in the first half but we went in at the break 2-0 ahead. Having said that, we gave them two goals in the second half so in that respect I'm disappointed.
"A couple of our mistakes proved costly but it's lessons learnt.
"The good thing is that we didn't lose. We played well in the second half, we came out with more confidence.
She added: "France are a very good side. They are highly ranked and they only made two subs, we made several, so there are more positives than negatives."