An early goal by Michelle Hickmott gave England Under-21’s a 1-0 victory in Halmstad over highly-rated Sweden.
Sweden 0-1 England
01 October 2004
An early goal by Michelle Hickmott gave England Under-21’s a 1-0 victory in Halmstad over a Sweden side rated the best in Europe.
The Swedes had finished runners-up to the US at July’s Nordic Tournament, where all of Europe’s top Under-21 teams were competing.
En route to reaching the Nordic final Sweden had beaten England 1-0, so Friday night’s success was sweet revenge for Brent Hills’ team.
Assistant National Coach Hills said: "Beating Sweden, especially in their own country, is a real feather in the cap for the girls.
"When we lost to them at the Nordic tournament we played really well but just couldn’t put our chances away.
"But this time we got what we deserved - we were the better team technically and in terms of competing, and we won the game with a lovely goal."
Coventry City winger Hickmott scored in the 13th minute, sliding home a cross by Birmingham City full back Alex Scott following a fine move down the right flank.
Wolves midfielder Emily Westwood twice went close with long range efforts as England edged the first half.
And after the break both Charlton Athletic striker Eni Aluko and Everton midfielder Kelly McDougall had goalbound efforts stopped on the line.
At the other end Oldham Curzon goalkeeper Kay Hawke, on her international debut, had only one moment of real danger to deal with and handled it comfortably.
Charlton Athletic striker Jess Smith also made her debut, entering the fray as a second half substitute, and Hills was pleased with the contribution of the new girls.
"Both of the players making debuts performed creditably," said the Assistant National Coach, "and overall it was a very pleasing evening for us.
"The Under-21 squad is still very new, but if we keep performing like this it will become a tremendous back-up to the senior international team."