England narrowly lost to Denmark at Woodside Park on Friday evening.
7.30pm, Friday 21 September 2007
Woodside Park, Bishops Stortford
England Women's U17s got their season off to a start on Friday night ahead of the European Qualifiers, but a young and largely inexperienced side were unfortunate to lose out to Denmark at Woodside Park.
With many of the girls involved new to this age group, it was certainly seen more as a learning curve for them and an experience which can be used over the coming years as England look to compete on the international stage.
As expected, the Danes provided a strong and physical presence from the first whistle and they took advantage in the first half by taking a two goal lead over the Young Lionesses.
England showed a great attitude in response though and kept fighting and competing until the end, which resulted in a deserved goal late on for Bristol striker Rachel Pitman who was only called into the squad as a standby for the injured Kayleigh Hines.
The goal came following a flowing move on the right, which ended with Pitman finishing off a cross in the area to give England some heart.
Coach Laura Harvey was standing in for Lois Fidler on the touchline, with the Head Coach currently away with the senior team in China and she was pleased with the way the players coped with a tough opposition on the night.
"Denmark are a big and strong side and it was a good test for the girls," said Harvey.
"It is a new team really and we wanted them to get experience of a competitive game under their belts before the European Qualifiers start so it was a worthwhile exercise.
"Whilst we were disappointed with the result, there were a lot of positives to take out of the game and all of the players will come out of it feeling much better and stronger.
"Denmark started the game very strongly and scored both of their goals in the first half, which we were disappointed with but we came out in the second half with a lot of fight and a real never-say-die attitude and we got a goal back late on, which was very pleasing.
"It was all about the experience for us though and we can learn from this and improve for the qualifiers."
1. Amy Carr, 2. Lucy Bronze, 3. Stephanie Marsh, 4. Ashleigh Goddard, 5. Jemma Rose, 6. Sahara Osbourne-Ricketts, 7. Jade Foremaston, 8. Laura Coombs, 9. Natalie Crinean (Rebecca Jane), 10. Jessica Holbrook, 11. Sarah Wiltshire (Rebecca Pitman).
Subs not used: Ruby Staplehurst, Lauren Davey, Jordan Nobbs, Isobele Christiansen
Referee Una Hong
Assistant referee Sian Massey Lisa Rashid
Fourth official Matthew McLaughlin