Danielle Bird scored once again as England drew 1-1 away to Sweden in Guldkroksvallen.
England 1-1 Sweden
18 May 2005
Danielle Bird was England's hero as Mo Marley's England Women's U19 side drew away to a strong Swedish side in Guldkroksvallen.
Fulham midfielder Bird scored in all three of England's qualifiers in Italy last month and she netted for the fourth match in a row after just six minutes of this match.
The hosts, who failed to qualify for the UEFA Women's U19 Championship having been drawn in a group with favourites Germany, tested Marley's side and proved to be a good test as the countdown to the championship continues.
Speaking to TheFA.com after the match, coach Marley said: "Last night was a fantastic lesson for our players.
"We took an early lead and could have been three-up in the first ten minutes but then after conceding an equaliser we were second best for the rest of the first half."
After going behind, the hosts came back strongly and five minutes after Bird's opener, levelled matters with a nicely worked goal from Anna Boden.
Marley added: "At half-time we identified some key areas we needed to work on and in the second half we were a different team.
"We closed them down and were pushing forward all the time for a winner despite the fact that our players, on average, were two years younger than their opponents."
The second half did indeed see England give the Swedes a good test and, but for some tired play in the final third, they might have come away with an impressive win.
"After the match we discussed how at the championship in July we need to sustain our performance over 90 minutes," Marley said.
"I was very proud of the players and games like this will be of huge benefit not only for July but in preparing the players to potentially progress to the Senior squad.
"One of the main reasons we went to Sweden was that their season has only just started so their players were very sharp and fresh.
"They were big, strong physical players and provided a different style of play to what the players had come up against before."
As well as the strong performance from Bird, Marley was keen to stress the valuable contribution of two other players.
"I don't like to single out individuals but last night Fern Whelan was outstanding," Marley said.
"She is a 16-year-old girl who only came in to the squad in February and put in a very mature performance. Also, Danielle Hill in goal made some crucial saves in only her second start at U19 level in the last year."
Marley will now look forward to Tuesday's draw in Budapest where they will now be the pot alongside Germany, France, Russia, Finland, Switzerland, Scotland and the hosts Hungary.
The UEFA Women's U19 Championship Finals in Hungary between 20 and 31 July 2005.
England Women's U19 v. Sweden, Friendly, 18 May 2005
England: Danielle Hill - Everton, Stephanie Houghton - Sunderland, Michelle Evans - Everton (c), Amy Kane - Everton, Fern Whelan - Liverpool (Nicole Emmanuel - Leeds United), Katie Holtham - Bristol Rovers, Becky Hall - Wolverhampton Wanderers (Dunia Susi - Arsenal), Jill Scott - Sunderland (Chantelle Parry - Everton), Lianne Sanderson - Arsenal, Danielle Bird - Fulham, Heather Scheuber - Birmingham City
Subs not used: Rachel Williams - Leicester City, Gemma Davidson - Arsenal, Bonnie Horwood - Langford, Sophie Clough - Stockport County, Kylie Davies - Fulham, Carly Telford - Sunderland