White hat-trick as England thrash NI

Published on: 23 February 2021

Ellen White scored a hat-trick as England thrashed Northern Ireland in Hege Riise's first game as temporary Lionesses boss.

In a friendly played at England's St George's Park training base, Norwegian Riise, overseeing the Lionesses squad until Sarina Wiegman takes charge after the summer Olympics, saw her side overwhelm the visitors in blustery conditions.

White's superb treble, a Lucy Bronze tap-in, Rachel Daly's close-range finish and an Ella Toone penalty made for a resounding win in England's first game in almost 12 months and first since the departure of manager Phil Neville.

And midfielder Jill Scott put in a commanding performance to mark her 150th England appearance, becoming only the second women's player to reach that tally after Fara Williams.

Kenny Shiels' depleted Northern Ireland failed to register a shot of any description but will now focus on the more pressing task of qualification for next year's Euros, when they play in April's play-off.

They had Becky Flaherty to thank for keeping the scoreline down, with the Sheffield United keeper making a string of superb saves, but the result reflected the 43 places between the sides in the world rankings.

    Reaction from England v Northern Ireland

Riise gets her attacking desire

Brought into the plug the gap between Neville and his successor Wiegman - who will take the reins after leading her native Netherlands at the Olympics - Riise had spoken of trying to bring attacking intent to this England team. They had stuttered to just three wins from Neville's final nine games in charge before a long period without matches as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

And the Norway legend got precisely what she asked for, with the Lionesses moving the ball quickly from the back to create a flurry of opportunities.

White was the main beneficiary, moving on to 39 international goals, first by capitalising after being gifted the ball by the Northern Irish defence, nodding in Bronze's cross and then finishing a pass from Scott, who was given the captain's armband on her landmark 150th cap.

Bronze, the Fifa Best Women's Player of 2020, had tapped in Lauren Hemp's low cross before half-time and later rolled the ball across for Daly to bundle in, before debutant Toone scored from the spot after Rachel Holloway brought down Chloe Kelly.

England, who were also able to bring on Sandy MacIver, Ebony Salmon and Carlotte Wubben-Moy for debuts, have one more friendly, against Canada in April, before a Great Britain team will head to Japan for the Olympics, although the Football Association is yet to name who will manage the team in Tokyo.

Bigger games to come for Northern Ireland

Riise could well be on the coaching staff when it comes to selecting the Team GB squad, although few of the Northern Ireland team would have made a convincing argument for inclusion based on this game alone.

This result should not detract from the impressive progress Shiels' side have made, winning all four of their final group qualifiers at the end of last year to raise the prospect of reaching the European Championship.

Northern Ireland women will go to their first-ever major tournament if they can win April's two-legged play-off, against an as yet unknown opponent, but they will need a stronger performance and a more experienced squad to give themselves the best chance possible.

Northern Ireland arrived at St George's Park with a large swathe of their squad unavailable through injuries and work commitments, with sisters Kirsty and Caitlin McGuinness, first-choice keeper Jackie Burns and midfielder Demi Vance all missing out.

That meant there was a spot for 16-year-old Ella Haughey on the bench along with Holloway's first start at left-back and, while Burns' replacement Flaherty impressed between the sticks, the visitors hardly laid a glove on England, barely getting into the home side's half.

There were snippets of Shiels' continued desire to see his side play out from the back, but it frequently led to gifting the ball to England and ultimately led to a thumping defeat.

'We showed character' - what they said

England interim manager Hege Riise, speaking to BBC Sport: "Obviously [I'm pleased with] six goals, four players getting their first cap and that we pushed for 90 minutes and wanted more goals. We tried to find the pockets in between, run at them and I think we showed character.

"We probably could've scored more goals but the performance and energy that we put into the game was good."

On goalscorer Ellen White: "She's a leader and she always wants to score goals. She's always looking for runs into the box. Three goals and great goals."

Jill Scott, who won her 150th England cap, speaking to BBC Sport: "The game was really enjoyable. Really happy for Ella Toone and the other girls who made their debuts, so it's been a great day all round.

"Massive thanks to Steph [Houghton] for letting me have the captain's armband today. She's made so much effort to make sure it was a special day for me.

"I've been overwhelmed by all the messages, I was just trying to concentrate on the game but now I can finally relax. Everything I do is to just make my family proud but I don't think this has sunk in yet."

Player of the match

WhiteEllen White

with an average of 8.38

    EnglandEnglandEngland N Ireland WomNorthern IrelandNorthern Ireland

England

Avg

Squad number9Player nameWhite

Average rating

8.38

Squad number8Player nameScott

Average rating

7.96

Squad number2Player nameBronze

Average rating

7.71

Squad number14Player nameToone

Average rating

7.55

Squad number10Player nameNobbs

Average rating

7.52

Squad number6Player nameWilliamson

Average rating

7.47

Squad number11Player nameHemp

Average rating

7.41

Squad number4Player nameStanway

Average rating

7.39

Squad number3Player nameGreenwood

Average rating

7.33

Squad number7Player nameDaly

Average rating

7.32

Squad number5Player nameHoughton

Average rating

7.31

Squad number17Player nameKelly

Average rating

7.30

Squad number15Player nameWubben-Moy

Average rating

7.14

Squad number19Player nameEngland

Average rating

7.11

Squad number13Player nameSandy MacIver

Average rating

6.95

Squad number20Player nameSalmon

Average rating

6.92

Squad number1Player nameRoebuck

Average rating

6.82

Northern Ireland

Avg

Squad number2Player nameBurrows

Average rating

4.53

Squad number22Player nameWatling

Average rating

4.48

Squad number3Player nameMcKenna

Average rating

4.35

Squad number18Player nameMcDaniel

Average rating

4.25

Squad number15Player nameKelly

Average rating

4.21

Squad number14Player nameFinnegan

Average rating

4.20

Squad number12Player nameFlaherty

Average rating

4.17

Squad number11Player nameWade

Average rating

4.08

Squad number17Player nameHolloway

Average rating

4.07

Squad number5Player nameNelson

Average rating

4.05

Squad number7Player nameMcCarron

Average rating

4.04

Squad number13Player nameMagee

Average rating

4.02

Squad number4Player nameRobson

Average rating

3.90

Squad number16Player nameCaldwell

Average rating

3.87

Squad number9Player nameMagill

Average rating

3.80

Squad number8Player nameCallaghan

Average rating

3.73

Squad number10Player nameFurness

Average rating

3.60

    Line-ups Match Stats Live Text

Line-ups

England

Formation 4-2-3-1

1Roebuck

2Bronze5Houghton6Williamson3Greenwood

8Scott4Stanway

7Daly10Nobbs11Hemp

9White

    1RoebuckSubstituted forMacIverat 61'minutes

    2Bronze

    5Houghton

    6WilliamsonSubstituted forWubben-Moyat 75'minutes

    3Greenwood

    8Scott

    4Stanway

    7DalySubstituted forSalmonat 84'minutes

    10NobbsSubstituted forTooneat 45'minutes

    11HempSubstituted forKellyat 61'minutes

    9WhiteSubstituted forEnglandat 76'minutes

Substitutes

    13MacIver

    14Toone

    15Wubben-Moy

    16Turner

    17Kelly

    18Mead

    19England

    20Salmon

    21Hampton

N Ireland Wom

Formation 4-4-2

12Flaherty

13Magee5Nelson4Robson17Holloway

11Wade7McCarron16Caldwell8Callaghan

10Furness9Magill

    12Flaherty

    13Magee

    5Nelson

    4RobsonSubstituted forKellyat 84'minutes

    17HollowaySubstituted forFinneganat 83'minutes

    11WadeSubstituted forMcDanielat 73'minutes

    7McCarronSubstituted forMcKennaat 57'minutesBooked at 90mins

    16CaldwellSubstituted forBurrowsat 84'minutes

    8CallaghanSubstituted forWatlingat 58'minutes

    10Furness

    9Magill

Substitutes

    2Burrows

    3McKenna

    6Hutton

    14Finnegan

    15Kelly

    18McDaniel

    19Wilson

    20Howe

    21Haughey

    22Watling

    23Harvey-Clifford

Referee: Lorraine Watson

Match Stats

Home TeamEnglandAway TeamN Ireland Wom

Possession

Home59%

Away41%

Shots

Home25

Away0

Shots on Target

Home12

Away0

Corners

Home5

Away1

Fouls

Home11

Away11

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, England 6, Northern Ireland Women 0.

90'+5'

Full Time

Second Half ends, England 6, Northern Ireland Women 0.

90'+4'

Post update

Attempt saved. Beth England (England) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucy Bronze with a cross.

90'+4'

Booking

Rebecca McKenna (Northern Ireland Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90'+4'

Post update

Chloe Kelly (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90'+4'

Post update

Foul by Rebecca McKenna (Northern Ireland Women).

90'+1'

Post update

Foul by Jill Scott (England).

90'+1'

Post update

Toni Leigh Finnegan (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90'

Post update

Foul by Lucy Bronze (England).

90'

Post update

Rachel Furness (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

89'

Post update

Charlotte Wubben-Moy (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89'

Post update

Dangerous play by Abbie Magee (Northern Ireland Women).

88'

Post update

Offside, England. Stephanie Houghton tries a through ball, but Ebony Salmon is caught offside.

87'

Post update

Foul by Georgia Stanway (England).

87'

Post update

Julie Nelson (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85'

Post update

Corner, England. Conceded by Toni Leigh Finnegan.

84'

Substitution

Substitution, England. Ebony Salmon replaces Rachel Daly.

84'

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Samantha Kelly replaces Sarah Robson.

84'

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Kelsie Burrows replaces Nadene Caldwell.

83'

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Toni Leigh Finnegan replaces Rebecca Holloway.

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Source: bbc.com

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