Jess Holbrook brace helps Women's U19s to 4-0 win over Belarus.
England 4-0 Belarus
UEFA European Women's U19 Championship
First Qualifying Round
4pm (BST), Saturday 19 September 2009
Spotland, Rochdale AFC
England Women’s U19’s picked up where they left off in the summer by beating Belarus 4-0 with substitute, Jess Holbrook, grabbing the headlines with two goals in the second half.
It was their first game on English soil since October 2007 and they gave their home supporters a performance to savour.
Head Coach, Mo Marley, was delighted with the start to the campaign from her players.
“It is a new start and a new team,” she said. ”There were a lot of players today who haven’t really had many starts for England but I thought they did really well.
“After about 60 minutes of the game I felt we found our rhythm and our confidence. There was a lot of pressure on the girls being at home but I felt they coped with it really well.
“The most pleasing thing though was we ended the game as a team. That is what we have based our success on in the past and that is what we are looking for in the future from the girls.”
England started the game the brighter and were causing plenty of early problems for the Belarus back four. It took them just eight minutes to strike with their first goal of the game. Lucy Bronze’s long ball up-field found Jordan Nobbs who delivered a cross right into the danger area forcing Viktoryia Bundziukova to convert the ball into her own goal.
The hosts almost doubled their lead on 20 minutes; a well taken corner by Demi Stokes was headed just wide of Belarus goal by Gilly Flaherty.
England were comfortable throughout the first half but once they settled they started to produce some stunning link-up football. On 27 minutes Bronze’s through ball was dummied by Toni Duggan allowing Nobbs a sight on goal but her well struck shot sailed just over the Belarus goal.
Ten minutes before half-time England showed their potential off set pieces. Lucy Staniforth delivered a superb ball into the box from a free-kick but unfortunately for the hosts Issy Christiansen’s header failed to hit the target.
On 40 minutes the impressive Duggan tried her luck from 30-yards and wasn’t far from hitting the target and beating Aliaksandra Sokal in the visitors’ goal.
Ten minutes into the second half Duggan showed her class again. The England forward beat the Belarus full-back Elvira Urazayeva and cut inside the bending shot just flew over the Belarus goal.
England got their deserved second goal of the game on 65 minutes with a stunning strike from substitute Holbrook. Within seconds of entering the pitch Holbrook struck 25-yards from goal finding the inside of the post and crossing over the line.
But the best was to come from Holbrook as her second goal was even more spectacular than her first. Holbrook dribbled the ball past three Belarus players before cutting into the box and coolly slotting past Sokal in the visitors goal.
The European Champions added their fourth goal of the game in injury time as Demi Stokes finished well from an acute angle.
England’s next qualification game will be against Slovakia on Monday.
Rebecca Spencer, Lyndsey Cunningham, Gilly Flaherty, Abbie Prosser (Laura Coombs, 60), Lucy Bronze, Gemma Bonner, Lucy Staniforth (Rebecca Jane, 85), Jordan Nobbs, Toni Duggan (C), Isobel Christiansen (Jess Holbrook 63), Demi Stokes
Substitutes not used: Stephanie Marsh, Lauren Davey, Lauren Bruton, Emma Follis
Head Coach Mo Marley
Sokal, Urazayeva, Hryb, Bundziukova, Liubenkova, Kasianik (Chyruk, 58), Nizheharodava, Kozel, Lis, Hudchanka (Linnik, 86), Mikashevich (Selivestrava, 73)
Substitutes not used Chakhouskaya, Slysh, Akulich, Slyish, Akulich, Urbanovich
Head Coach Dzmitry Shautchuk
Referee Jana Adamova (CZE)
Assistant Referees L Ratajova (CZE) & S Perez (ISR)
Fourth Official – L Asulin (ISR)
Bundziukova (OG) 8 mins, Holbrook 65 mins, 89 mins, Stokes 90 mins