England Women continued their World Cup preparations with a 2-0 victory over Denmark at Banks’s Stadium in Walsall.
Nikita Parris opened the scoring in added time at the end of the first half and Jill Scott grabbed a second on 59 minutes.
Phil Neville’s side were second best for large parts of their penultimate match of the ‘Road to France’ series, but they improved after the break and were more clinical than their visitors.
- Road to France series
- Saturday 25 May
- Banks's Stadium, Walsall
Denmark, who failed to qualify for France 2019, were on top in the opening exchanges with Jade Moore forced to block a Sanne Troelsgaard shot after just 11 minutes.
England responded with Scott, captain for the day in the absence of the rested Steph Houghton, slipping a through ball into the path of her new Manchester City club mate Ellen White. The 30-year-old opened her body but could only bend her side-footed shot wide of the far post.
Scott was then the recipient of a Georgia Stanway cross which she lifted just over the top from close range.
The visitors controlled large parts of the first half and thought they had broken the deadlock through Signe Bruun but the PSG forward was adjudged to have controlled the ball with her arm before prodding a shot beyond Karen Bardsley.
And Denmark’s misery was compounded when Parris scored the game’s opening goal just moments later.
Beth Mead’s right-sided free-kick was only half cleared by Janni Arnth and Parris punished the Arsenal defender by powering the loose ball into the bottom corner from 18 yards.
The impressive Denmark captain Pernille Harder tried to get her side back into the game after the interval only to be foiled at the near post by Bardsley.
The win was effectively sealed just before the hour mark when Scott finished off a neat England move.
Stanway burst through the centre before finding Mead on the left side of the Denmark box.
The Arsenal attacker dinked a cross back across goal which Scott met at full pelt, plundering a header into the back of the net.
England (4-3-3): 1 Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), 17 Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), 14 Leah Williamson (Arsenal), 6 Millie Bright (Chelsea), 12 Demi Stokes (Manchester City); 8 Jill Scott (capt; Manchester City), 16 Jade Moore (Reading), 19 Georgia Stanway (Manchester City); 7 Nikita Parris (Lyon), 18 Ellen White (Manchester City), 22 Beth Mead (Arsenal)
Substitutes: 10 Fran Kirby (Chelsea) for Stanway 61, 20 Karen Carney (Chelsea) for Parris 61, 23 Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City) for Mead 80.
Substitutes not used: 21 Mary Earps (Wolfsburg), 2 Lucy Bronze (Lyon), 3 Alex Greenwood (Manchester United), 4 Keira Walsh (Manchester City), 5 Steph Houghton (Manchester City), 9 Jodie Taylor (Seattle Reign), 15 Abbie McManus (Unattached).
Goals: Parris 45+1, Scott 59
Head coach: Phil Neville
Referee: Desiree Grundbacher