England slip against Scots
Friday, 04 March, 2011
Lions' second game of Cyprus Cup ends in defeat.
by Glenn Lavery in Nicosia
Arsenal Ladies duo Jennifer Beattie and Kim Little scored a goal apiece as Scotland beat England 2-0 in the Cyprus Cup on Friday afternoon.
On 26 minutes, Beattie found Little with an impudent back-heel and Scotland's midfielder-cum-striker crashed home the opener from 12 yards.
Beattie deservedly got herself on the scoresheet in the second half when she headed home Hayley Lauder's cross, capping an impressive individual display.
A defender by trade, Beattie was asked to play up front alongside Little and the link-up play between the pair caused England's backline problems all afternoon.
Hope Powell made eight changes from the starting eleven that beat Italy on Wednesday and England must now re-group for the game against Canada on Monday.
Neither side took control of the game in the early stages and a Beattie shot from 20 yards, after she had dispossessed Laura Bassett, was the only real chance of the opening ten minutes.
Her strike partner Little had the next attempt at goal but her low shot was relatively tame and Siobhan Chamberlain gathered comfortably.
England slowly began to have the upper hand in terms of possession and Eniola Aluko's deflected shot was the Three Lions' first opening.
However, Scotland were creating the better chances and after Lauder saw her fierce in-swinging left foot shot tipped over well by Chamberlain, Little fired Anna Sigeul's side ahead on 26 minutes.
Beattie collected a pass on the 18-yard line and held off captain Casey Stoney before her clever back-heel played in Little, who finished with aplomb.
England were momentarily rattled and played a few mis-placed passes after the restart, but long distance sighters from Fara Williams, Bassett and Jill Scott hinted at a comeback.
Their best chance of the half came right on the whistle as Sue Smith whipped a ball into the near post for Jill Scott to attack. The tall midfielder got ahead of her marker and flicked goalwards but Shannon Lynn pulled off a marvellous save from point blank range.
After headed efforts by Little and skipper Rachel Corsie early in the second half, Scotland doubled their lead on 52 minutes, with Beattie switching from provider to scorer.
Tidy build-up play involving Little and Megan Sneddon saw the ball worked out wide to Lauder, who delivered a delicious right-wing cross for Beattie to climb above everyone to nod home.
Scotland had probably merited their two-goal lead, but again England came back at them with some intricate passing moves and Aluko tried to reduce arrears almost immediately, though her angled shot just drifted past the post.
Bassett had another rangey effort, which went wide, as did Aluko, as England sought a way back into the contest. Lauder fired narrowly over for the Scots midway through the second half, but other than that, it was all England for the remainder of the game, though they weren't able to fashion too many clear cut chances.
Scotland had utilised Beattie's strength and aerial prowess, alongside the clever play of Little, to its full capacity and held on for a famous victory.