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England 2 Scotland 0
A goal either side of half time gave England a 2-0 victory over Scotland in a well contested Nationwide Under-17 Tournament Final at Gloucester.
Both teams had come through tense matches in order to qualify for the Final and a bobbly surface did not help as they adapted to the conditions in the early stages.
Scotland started brightly and enjoyed early possession, driven by impressive midfield duo Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie, but could not find a way through a strong England defence. One slip did give Kaydee Lowe an opportunity but her shot was well blocked by Sophie Bradley.
Chances were few at either end but England were to strike with virtually their first chance of the match, after winning a corner on the right five minutes before the interval. Clare Rafferty's kick was flicked on to the far post where Ellen White's header was turned home on the line by Katie Owen to open the scoring.
Scotland hit back with a 20-yard shot from Lowe which dipped just over but England finished the half strongly as another good cross from Rafferty picked out Kate Longhurst whose shot was saved by Lorna Brownlie.
After the restart, Scotland enjoyed the early pressure and almost got back on level terms as a good cross from the right by Molly McKean saw Beattie just beat Helen Alderson to the ball but her header was just off target.
England then took a decisive lead as Lizzie Edwards released Ellen White down the left. Her cross picked out Longhurst who planted a left foot shot past Brownlie and into the corner of the net to make it 2-0.
White almost added a third four minutes later, latching onto an excellent pass from Edwards and stabbing her shot past Brownlie but just wide of the post. Remi Allen, moments after coming on as a substitute, also went close from 20 yards with a well struck effort.
Scotland tried to rally but found it difficult to make headway against the strong central defensive pairing of Bradley and Gilly Flaherty. Chelsea Weston had a fine match at right back, as did fellow full back Sophie Walton who was playing in her third position in the three matches.
Longhurst almost scored her second goal of the game as she was sent away by White's pass but she was foiled by a good block from Brownlie. Scotland were not giving up though and gamely pushed forward with Danica Dalziel sendng a long range shot just wide.
England brought on goalkeeper Emily Morphitis as a late substitute for the impressive Alderson, ensuring that every member of their squad saw some action during the tournament. Morphitis was indeed called into action very quickly, making a save from Dalziel after she had been released by Beattie's pass.
Scotland had contributed greatly to the tournament but England were just too strong on the day and a third consecutive clean sheet helped secure a deserved win for Lois Fidler's side.
England: Helen Alderson (sub Emily Morphitis 77 mins), Chelsea Weston, Sophie Walton, Jade Moore (sub Remi Allen 55 mins), Sophie Bradley (capt), Gilly Flaherty, Katie Owen, Lizzie Edwards (sub Faye McCoy 77 mins), Kate Longhurst, Ellen White, Clare Rafferty (sub Vicky Vickery 67 mins). Subs not used: Bridie Fox, Georgina Giddings, Olivia Thackray.
Scotland: Lorna Brownlie, Roslyn McCallum (sub Nuala Deans 55 mins), Caroline McKelvie, Jennifer Beattie, Stephanie Handley, Molly McKean (sub Leanne Reid 46 mins), Kim Little (capt), Lauren McMillan (sub Jade Blackmore 79 mins), Cheryl McCulloch (sub Christie Murray 74 mins), Kaydee Lowe, Danica Dalziel. Subs not used: Rachel Harrison, Melissa Stirling, Nicola Deans.
Photo - Sophie Walton challenges Cheryl McCulloch (James Prickett).
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