The England Women's U19s beat Bulgaria in the European Championship on Wednesday night.
England 6-0 Bulgaria
UEFA European Under-19 Championship
Bootham Crescent, York City FC
28 September 2004
Sunderland striker Steph Houghton hit two goals as England powered to a fine win which took them to the top of their first qualifying round group at the end of the opening day’s fixtures in the four-nation tournament being staged in Yorkshire.
After an excellent second half performance had earlier in the day earned Wales a 4-1 win against Romania, England emphatically beat Bulgaria to leave the home nations in pole positions.
From the point that Houghton opened the scoring after just six minutes England were in total control, Bulgaria failing to muster a shot at goal until two minutes into stoppage time.
England coach Mo Marley said: "I’m delighted with that performance. Our pre-match preparation wasn’t great because the team coach got stuck in traffic and we were late arriving at the ground, but the girls were bang on their game right from the kick-off.
"The players had been told that if we did get control of the game they had to be professional and not only keep possession but also to use that possession to hurt the opposition – and that’s exactly what they did.
"They overplayed it a little bit at times, but generally they kept their discipline very well. They played some very good football and took their goals well, and they never really gave the opposition an opportunity to get into the game.
"One or two people said to me after the game that that was the best England display they’d seen at Under-19 level. That’s high praise, but now we have to focus on Thursday’s game against Romania and aim for the same level of performance."
Tuesday night’s performance was thorough indeed, England never looking back once Houghton had put them ahead with a curling 18-yard shot following a good run by Arsenal striker Lianne Sanderson.
Captain Katie Holtham increased the lead in the 17th minute, the Bristol Rovers midfielder powerfully heading into the roof of the net from a corner by Fulham winger Dani Bird.
Bird struck the bar with a 21st minute drive as England stepped up the pressure, and goal number three arrived when Houghton headed in a Sanderson cross nine minutes before half-time.
The home side really turned the screw at the start of the second period, three further goals arriving in the opening eleven minutes. Bird slid in the first of them after collecting a 47th minute through-ball by Birmingham City midfielder Karen Carney.
Good play by Everton left back Michelle Evans and Carney led to Sanderson scoring the fifth goal in the 54th minute, the Arsenal player turning to shoot into the far corner from 12 yards.
And two minutes later Sanderson’s club colleague Hayley Kemp spectacularly completed the scoring, the central defender diving in at the far post to head home a Bird cross.
More goals might have followed as England, despite making three substitutions, retained their flow and allowed Romania only one shot at goal, a 25 yard stoppage time effort by Liliama Kostova which flew just over the bar.
England: Telford; Emmanuel, (Clough, 60), Darel Poole, Kemp, Evans; Carney (Horwood, 62), Holtham, Scheuber; Houghton, Sanderson (Smith, 74), Bird.
Subs not used: Hobbs, Kane, Lawrence, Parry
Goals: Houghton 6, 36, Holtham 17, Bird 47, Sanderson 54, Kemp 56
Bulgaria: Mincheva, Davidova, Koleva, Stzezova, Dyankova, Bossolova, Hristova, Ivanova (Voyskova, 56), Echeva (Boycheva, 58), Traykova (Maleshkova, 81), Kostova