Mark Sampson urges Lionesses to bounce back immediately

Saturday 24 Oct 2015
England team line up against China

Mark Sampson has asked his England side for an immediate recovery after their 2-1 loss to China in the opening match of the Dewellbon Cup.

A first-half brace from Shuang Wang laid the foundations for the host nation’s win.

She opened the scoring in the fifth minute and added a second just before the break.

China 2-1 England

Dewellbon Cup
Friday 23 October 2015
Yongchuan, China

Eniola Aluko halved the deficit in added time at the end of the first half, but the Lionesses were unable to mount a second-half comeback.

England take on World Cup quarter finalists Australia in the final match of the tournament on Tuesday.

Sampson said: “Now we’re on the back of a defeat we really need to bounce back and deliver a big performance.

“We need to reflect on this game and come bouncing back against a good Australian team.

“Only once have we been beaten twice in a row in the last 18 months [by Germany and USA] and we don’t want that to happen again.

“This team hates losing and it’s important that we bounce back and get things right.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Jill Scott and England

“It was disappointing to concede so early because that gave them a foothold in the game to go on and get the result.

“We know Australia are the higher-ranked team so on paper they are the tougher opponent.”

Sampson handed three players their senior team debuts – Chelsea trio Gilly Flaherty, over five years since her last involvement with the U23s, birthday girl Drew Spence and Laura Coombs.

Flaherty started the match as part of a back three alongside Alex Scott and captain Steph Houghton, while Spence and Coombs were late substitutes.

Sampson added: “It’s always nice to give players their debut.

“It was disappointing to concede so early because that gave them a foothold in the game to go on and get the result.”

Mark Sampson 

“I think Gilly did well. She was solid enough but she will have learnt some big lessons. I was pleased with her performance, how she adapted to the team and how we wanted to play.

“She was solid and held herself well against a very good forward. In typical Gilly Flaherty fashion, she was honest, she won her tackles, won her headers and was simple with the ball.

“I’m really pleased for Gilly that she finally made her debut. It was a performance she can build on.”

He continued: “It was nice for Drew and Laura to come off the bench and experience international football.

“Both of them will learn some big lessons from the minutes they played and from the camp in general.”

England’s next home game is against Bosnia & Herzegovina on Sunday 29 November (3.30pm KO) as part of their UEFA Women’s 2017 Euro qualifying campaign.

Tickets are on sale now priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. A family ticket (two adults and two children) is available at £10 and group booking discounts apply.

Tickets can be purchased via or by calling 01179 630 600.

By Glenn Lavery