England Women's Under-19 side suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against a full-streng
England Women's Under-19 side suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against a full-strength Sweden side last week. But it was an encouraging performance from an under-strength England side that featured two 15-year-olds in their last match prior to the UEFA U19 European Championships in July. England had drawn Sweden in the group stage of the tournament, so this previously-arranged friendly gained more importance. Coach Mo Marley was without several of her regulars due to injury and school commitments, so called in Under-17 players to boost her squad.
"We had a very young side out there and I was really impressed with how they handled the game," explained Marley. "Considering we had a lot of players out because of school exams, I thought we equipped ourselves very well.
"Sweden played what we think was their strongest squad, so I think that is a good indication for us of what we can expect for the Finals. The girls have given us a lot to think about before we select the final squad to go to Germany."
The starting XI featured seven of the girls who had helped England reach the Finals, by way of finishing as runners-up - behind Spain on goal difference - in the Second Qualifying Stage played in Bedfordshire last month.
Sweden went ahead in front of a noisy crowd of 2,200 in Skene, near Gothenburg, on 57 minutes after they had the better of the early proceedings. Player of the Match Eniola Aluko had a chance to equalise with a one-on-one, but the goalkeeper came out and made a save.
England took the initiative after going behind and put in a strong performance, led by stand-in captain Alex Scott, but it wasn't enough to earn them any honours.
England: Carly Telford - Sunderland (sub 54 mins Holly Cox - Fulham), Faye Cardin - Birmingham City (sub 90 mins Leanne Severns - Sheffield Wednesday), Shelly Cox - Leeds United, Georgie Adams - Arsenal (sub 81 mins Katie Holtham - Lincoln City), Hayley Kemp - Arsenal, Alex Scott - Arsenal, Katy Ward - Birmingham City (sub 69 mins Kim Holden - Tranmere Rovers), Eniola Aluko - Birmingham City (sub 87 mins Michelle Evans - Tranmere Rovers), Jo Potter - Birmingham City, Michelle Hickmott - Birmingham City (sub Lisa Burrows - Arsenal), Jodie McGuckin - Birmingham City (sub 58 mins Emma Thomas - Arsenal).
UEFA U19 European Championship draw