Jodie Taylor's goal extends Lionesses' unbeaten run to 10 matches

Tuesday 29 Nov 2016

Jodie Taylor’s sixth international goal proved decisive as England finished the action for 2016 by extending their unbeaten run to 10 matches.

The Lionesses withstood plenty of pressure in the opening 45 minutes against Netherlands.

And they remained patient as they grew into the game, before Taylor – making her first England outing since March – chipped in the winner to see off the Euro 2017 hosts.


Head coach Mark Sampson, back on the touchline in Tilburg following paternity leave, picked nine of the team that started last month’s 2-1 victory over Spain – with Manchester City duo Isobel Christiansen and Toni Duggan added to the line-up.

There were plenty of familiar faces among the Netherlands squad too, with five playing their football in The FA Women’s Super League.

Shanice van de Sanden of Liverpool was in menacing mood on the right flank, ensuring wing-back Demi Stokes was kept busy inside her own half during the early exchanges.

And it was Van de Sanden who created the game’s first chance, crossing low for Lieke Martens whose tame effort was comfortably gathered by Karen Bardsley at her near post.

Karen Carney had England’s first effort at goal as the Dutch defenders failed to apply any pressure, but the Chelsea star’s effort was easily dealt with by keeper Loes Geurts.

Lineth Beerensteyn was next to test Bardsley, her low cross inside the six-yard box was pushed behind by the Manchester City stopper for a corner, which England cleared.


Lucy Bronze was perfectly positioned to block substitute Ellen Jansen’s strike following fine work on the right from Van de Sanden once more, and the loose ball fell for Sherida Spitse 25 yards from goal. Her first-time effort was punched away by Bardsley.

With England coming under increasing pressure Jansen found space in the box to meet Merel van Dongen’s cross from the left, but her header trickled through to Bardsley.

The Lionesses were on the back foot for much of the opening period, but began the second half pressing high up the field inside Koning Willem II Stadion, which will host England’s Euro 2017 group match with Portugal next summer.

Carney and Christiansen were linking up to great effect on the right side and looking England’s greatest threat, though were unable to create a clear-cut chance for lone striker Duggan.

But with Netherlands’ attacking threat now stifled, Sampson introduced Taylor on the hour to offer more support for Duggan, with the visiting boss intent on forcing the issue.


A free-kick from Jordan Nobbs on the right came through to Duggan on the opposite side and her first-time effort was deflected behind for a corner.

Then, on 66 minutes, Duggan superbly took down Stokes’ long pass forwards, jinked her way past defender Stefanie van der Gragt and worked the ball on to her right foot, but Geurts blocked her shot.

Looking increasingly threatening, England took the lead with 15 minutes remaining when Taylor broke clear of the home defence to latch on to Arsenal team-mate Nobbs’ pass and chipped keeper Geurts from 20 yards.

Pushing for a way back into the game Spitse blasted over the crossbar from 25 yards, as did Van der Gragt. 

And in the dying seconds substitute Sisca Folkertsma could only shoot straight at Bardsley as England secured a seventh clean sheet from their last eight games.

Netherlands (4-3-3): 23 Loes Geurts, 2 Desiree van Lunteren, 3 Stefanie van der Gragt, 4 Mandy van den Berg (capt), 5 Merel van Dongen, 7 Shanice van de Sanden, 8 Sherida Spitse, 11 Lieke Martens, 12 Tessel Middag, 14 Renee Slegers, 21 Lineth Beerensteyn

Substitutes: 26 Ellen Jansen for Slegers 10, 25 Jill Roord for Martens 67, 34 Sisca Folkertsma for Beerensteyn 73

Substitutes not used: 1 Sari van Veenendaal, 16 Angela Christ, 15 Kika van Es, 17 Kelly Zeeman, 20 Dominique Janssen, 28 Jeslynn Kuijpers, 29 Siri Worm, 31 Anouk Hoogendijk

Coach: Arjan van der Laan

England (3-5-2): 1 Karen Bardsley (Manchester City); 2 Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), 5 Steph Houghton (capt; Manchester City), 6 Jo Potter (Notts County); 11 Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), 7 Jill Scott (Manchester City), 4 Jade Moore (Notts County), 8 Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), 3 Demi Stokes (Manchester City); 10 Karen Carney (Chelsea), 9 Toni Duggan (Manchester City).

Substitutes: 19 Jodie Taylor (Arsenal) for J Scott 58, 16 Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea) for Duggan 76, 17 Fara Williams (Arsenal) for Carney 81, 12 Alex Scott (Arsenal) for Christiansen 91

Substitutes not used: 13 Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool), 21 Mary Earps (Reading), 14 Laura Bassett (Notts County), 15 Gemma Bonner (Liverpool), 18 Gemma Davison (Chelsea), 20 Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), 22 Nikita Parris (Manchester City), 23 Danielle Carter (Arsenal).

Goals: Jodie Taylor 75

Head coach: Mark Sampson

Referee: Olga Zadinova

By Josh Richards Digital Producer