England women Under-19 kicked-off the second stage of their European Championshi
England 3-0 Ireland
Bedford Town FC
15 April 2003
England women Under-19 kicked-off the second stage of their European Championship qualifying campaign in style with a 3-0 victory against Republic of Ireland. A goal from 16-year-old Eniola Aluko on her debut ensured England took all three points in Bedfordshire on Tuesday night.
Aluko, who started the game up front with her Birmingham City strike partner Katy Ward, looked lively from the start in a game England controlled from start to finish.
A crowd of over 300 cheered on the home team at Bedford Town as England looked to reach the Finals of this year's competition, which will be played in Germany in July. Only one automatic qualifying spot is up for grabs, although the second best team may take one of the three possible best runners-up qualifying places for the eight-nation Finals.
Aluko opened the scoring for England on 35 minutes, although the home bench thought the referee had wrongly misjduged an earlier 'goal' to have not crossed the line. Aluko beat two Republic of Ireland defenders to a loose ball outside the area and lobbed the goalkeeper from 20 yards out.
England had several chances to extend their lead, with both captain Kelly McDougall and Ward guilty of missing good opportunities.
Everton defender Jo Traynor finally made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute and Ward got onto scoresheet three minutes later. England now face Spain on Thursday evening at Arlesey Town, before meeting Denmark on Saturday afternoon.
England: Rachelle Houldsworth, Faye Cardin, Shelly Cox, Jo Traynor, Beth Bailey, Alex Scott (sub 82 mins Emma Thomas), Kelly McDougall (c), Sheuneen Ta, Jo Potter (sub 75 mins Lisa Burrows), Eniola Aluko (sub 72 mins Anita Asante), Katy Ward. Subs not used: Catherine Beaver, Darel Poole, Laura Frogatt, Michelle Hickmott.
Republic of Ireland: Teresa Sue McNamara, Susan Byrne, Edel Malone, Jackie Shiels, Eilis Nevin, Susan O'Connor, Marie Curtin, Mary Waldron, Rachel Mulvany, Katie Taylor (sub 83 mins Jill Horan), Selina Moylan. Subs not used: Melissa Casserly, Orla Haslam, Ciara Crinion, Aileen O'Loughlin, Emma Dunne, Aisling Toolan.
Spain 4-1 Denmark
Spain midfielder Adriana Martin hit a hat-trick to surprise Denmark and secure a 4-1 victory in their opening game, played at Bedford Town FC on Tuesday afternoon. After a sluggish start to the game, Martin put the Spaniards into the lead on 21 minutes and after going ahead, they were never going to relinquish their grasp on the game.
Spain grew with confidence after that first goal and looked hungrier for the ball, while Denmark looked a shadow of last season's team that reached the semi-finals of the competition.
The teams went in at the break 1-0, but Martin thundered the ball into the net soon after the restart and added another on 60 minutes. Lively winger Sonia Bermudez added the fourth on 70 minutes with a header after a good cross from Melisa Nicolau.
Denmark managed a consolation goal against the run of play on 84 minutes from Marian Hansen, but they had their goalkeeper Susanne Graversen to thank for keeping the score down.