Jill Scott: North-east spirit helped England reign in Bristol rain

Monday 30 Nov 2015
Jill Scott heads the winner

Jill Scott joked that England’s contingent of players from the north east helped see them over the line against Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Mark Sampson’s side won 1-0 thanks to Scott’s second-half intervention from the substitute's bench.

But they were forced to find a way past Samira Hurem’s extremely negative system amid swirling winds and driving rain at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate stadium.

England 1-0 Bosnia & Herzegovina

UEFA Women's Euro 2017
Group 7 qualifier
Sunday 29 November 2015
Ashton Gate, Bristol City FC

And with Steph Houghton, Demi Stokes and Jordan Nobbs in the starting eleven, Sunderland native Scott believes her fellow northerners’ familiarity with extreme weather conditions helped the Lionesses attain another three points in Euro 2017 qualifying.

Scott said: "These games are always going to be tough. Then you add in the conditions and it makes it extra hard.

"It was horrible to play in but a few of us are from the north east so you get used to this weather.

"It’s a massive honour to play for your country and despite the weather you knew the girls would keep going and keep fighting for every ball, even though it was a totally different game than what we’re used to."

Nobbs smacked the crossbar in the 10th minute, while Jess Clarke and Eniola Aluko both hit shots off target early on as England took total control of proceedings from the off.

Bosnia goalkeeper Almina Hodzic was the busiest player on the pitch and she will be a little disappointed she didn’t do better when trying to keep out Scott’s header, from Aluko’s cross, that won the match.

Jill Scott and Eni Aluko celebrate the winner against Bosnia & Herzegovina

Jill Scott and Eni Aluko celebrate England's winner against Bosnia & Herzegovina

Scott, who came off the bench for Jess Clarke, added: "I thought [Bosnia] played really well to be honest.

"They banked up well and kept going for the whole 90 minutes so it was difficult to break them down, but fortunately enough we got that goal and ultimately came away with three points.

"Once you got on the pitch you realised how tight the areas were.

"The girls did well to keep trying to break them down and keep trying to do the right things. We knew we’d get that goal eventually.

"It rounds off a good 2015 for women’s football."

The highlight of the year was England’s bronze medal at the World Cup, a tournament where Scott certainly played her part.

The Bosnia match was the Lionesses’ first on home soil since Canada 2015 and Scott hopes her winner sent the 13,000-strong crowd home happy.

She said: "Before the game we were signing autographs and posing for phots and that was a really nice thing to do.

"They kept singing throughout [the match] even though the weather was horrible so hopefully they have gone away happy that we’ve got the win."

By Glenn Lavery