England pulled off a memorable victory last Friday against the United States.
England's U21s pulled off a memorable victory last Friday in an international friendly against the United States at Erith Town.
After being a goal down against the United States at half-time, it was to be an unhappy return to Kent in the end for visiting Head Coach Jill Ellis, who was born in Folkestone.
The USA featured Kerri Hanks, a member of the last two US U19 squads that played in the FIFA U19 Women’s World Championship, as well as midfielder Allie Long, a key member of the US U20 team that recently qualified for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Championship in Russia.
These talented youngsters were also joined by a number of U21 veterans, with five players being part of the 2005 Nordic Cup winning team.
The calibre of the visiting side made what happened in the second half all the more rewarding for Head Coach Brent Hills and Hope Powell.
Against one of the leading nations in women's football, a header from Liverpool-born Jodie Taylor - who made the trip across the Atlantic from Oregon State University - and a free-kick from Everton's Michelle Evans gave England a victory that Hope believes was full reward for the effort and application shown by England.
"Playing against the USA at any level is a massive test, and the result shows that the gap is narrowing all the time" she told TheFA.com.
"The players acquitted themselves very well, took on board everything that the coaching staff asked of them in the days before the game, and applied it to the game.
"Yet again, an England side have displayed tremendous belief in their own abilities to come back from a goal down against a powerful and experienced side, and the players can be very proud of their performances."
Singled out for indiviudal praise was Birmingham City's Laura Bassett who is one of the younger players pushing hard for a start at senior level.
"Laura is another player who has worked very hard on her game, and watching her for 90 minutes in her natural position, she was outstanding.
"The development squads are now providing a vital stepping stone to the next age level, and results such as this continue to show how the depth of talent in the English game augurs so well for the future."
Jo Fletcher (Carly Telford), Rachel Axon, Michelle Hickmott, Katie Holtham, Laura Bassett, Jill Scott, Jodie Tyalor, Amy Kane, Kelly McDougall, Sarah Snare (Stephanie Houghton), Michelle Evans