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England...........4 (K.Smith 9,pen 24,49, Yankey 66)
att: 7,931; at Charlton Athletic F.C.
Star striker Kelly Smith scored a hat-trick as England produced a stunning display to dish out a 4-0 hammering to Holland and move themselves to within one point of qualifying for the World Cup Finals.
After Casey Stoney had been injured in midweek training, Anita Asante was selected to replace long term injury victim Faye White with Mary Phillip taking over the captaincy. Alex Scott returned to the right back position in what was virtually a full strength line up.
Phillip needed to be alert in the opening minutes as she was on hand as Gabriella Melis burst into the England area, to make an important interception. England were quickly into their stride though with Karen Carney tricking her way past two Dutch defenders before crossing for Kelly Smith who glanced her header just beyond the far post.
Smith was to make no mistake moments later though, as Rachel Unitt carried the ball forward before finding Phillip in an advanced position, her neat pass picked out Smith who cut inside two defenders before drilling a low left foot shot into the corner of the net to give England the lead.
England continue to press with Carney having a flick saved from Rachel Yankey's low cross and Eniola Aluko shooting wide but their persistence was further rewarded as Smith received the ball in the area and was initially tugged back by Sherida Spitse before Liesbeth Migchelsen's high boot resulted in a penalty being awarded. Smith herself stepped up to take the kick and calmly sent Wissink the wrong way to put England two ahead.
Chapman headed over Yankey's cross following a quickly taken corner and Wissink needed to make a smart save as de Boer diverted Aluko's centre goalwards as England still dominated. Another slick move saw Rachel Unitt's pass laid off by Carney to Aluko whose first time effort was saved at full length by Wissink. Aluko then drove a low ball across the face of goal which two oncoming England players narrowly failed to touch home.
With the Dutch looking increasingly ragged, Smith almost completed a hat-trick after a neat turn from Alex Scott's throw in but her shot was blocked at the near post by the overworked Wissink. Scott saw a shot deflected wide after latching onto a neat reverse ball from Carney as England finished the half well on top.
It took just four minutes for England to further increase their lead. Smith once again received the ball from a throw and found space after a quick turn and her left foot shot struck Carney in the back and looped over a stranded Wissink for the third goal. Aluko had an opportunity moments later to add another but her shot was saved by Wissink.
It wasn't too long before a fourth goal was on its way and, once again, Smith was heavily involved. This time, she chased a loose ball across the Dutch penalty area and beat Wissink too the loose ball before being cynically fouled by Anouk Hoogendijk near the touchline. Yankey took the resulting free kick and planted the ball over the Dutch goalkeeper and into the far corner to give England an even tighter stranglehold on the game.
There was a brief worry for England as a back pass from Asante went astray but Rachel Brown did well to prevent Karin Stevens from forcing the ball home. However the tide continued with England still attacking, Aluko cutting in from the left to shoot wide. Jill Scott came on as a late substitute for her senior debut and she should really have capped it with a goal and a sweeping move culminated with Jody Handley releasing the Everton midfielder clean through on goal but she sent her shot wide with only Wissink to beat.
Holland tried to grab a late consolation as Gabriella Melis broke down the right but her powerful shot was well saved by Brown at her near post. This was to be the last goalmouth action from a game dominated by England and the brilliance of Kelly Smith.
England: Rachel Brown, Alex Scott, Rachel Unitt, Katie Chapman, Anita Asante, Mary Phillip, Karen Carney, Fara Williams, Eniola Aluko, Kelly Smith, Rachel Yankey. Subs: Sue Smith (for Yankey 73 mins), Jill Scott (for K.Smith 81 mins), Jody Handley (for Aluko 83 mins), Siobhan Chamberlain, Jo Potter, Vicky Exley, Lindsay Johnson.
Holland: Marleen Wissink, Dyanne Bito, Liesbeth Migchelsen, Marloes de Boer, Petra Hogewoning, Sherida Spitse, Sylvia Smit, Dionne Demarteau, Gabriella Melis, Karin Stevens, Anna van der Heiligenberg. Subs: Anouk Hoogendijk (for Spitse 55 mins), Nangila van Eyck (for van der Heiligenberg 63 mins), Nicole Delies (for Stevens 81 mins), Esther Scheenaard, Katharina Legemate, Linda Bos, Loes Geurts.
Photo - Kelly Smith scores England's first goal (www.jamesprickett.co.uk)
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