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England stay on course
 Women's Football News 9 May 2008
 
Belarus.........1 (Ryzhevich 30)
England........6 (J.Scott 1, Williams 6,25,86, Sanderson 43, White 90)

A Fara Williams hat-trick kept England on course to qualify for Euro 2009, as they saw off Belarus with ease to take a crucial three points from their visit to Minsk.
 
England were ahead after just 30 seconds as Jill Scott arrived at the near post to power home Rachel Yankey's fine delivery from the left flank.
 
It was a lightning start for the Three Lions as they looked to sign off for the summer in style, with Fara Williams lofting a delightful pass out to the left wing Yankey which she in turn delivered onto the head of Everton's Jill Scott.
 
It was the perfect start as the visitors controlled possession and looked to break in numbers, and it wasn't long before it was 2-0 as Fara Williams drove a terrific free-kick into the top corner.
 
Jill Scott drove at the heart of the Belarus defence before being felled 25 yards from goal. Kelly Smith stood over the ball, but Williams hit the ball with the outside of her right foot and Novikova was once again stranded on her line.
 
After losing two early goals, and already suffering a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Spain just a week ago, Belarus were keen to limit the damage and packed their defence to prevent another heavy defeat.
 
Halfway through the first period and it was 3-0, with Fara Williams getting on the scoresheet again - with another cracking effort from 25 yards out.
 
This time it was in open play as Casey Stoney and Rachel Yankey built an attack before feeding Williams in space through the middle. Williams drove forward and was given the chance to shoot as Belarus backed off, her effort flying into the top corner.
 
Just five minutes later and Belarus had a somewhat fortunate route back into the contest as their captain, Natalya Ryzhevich lofted a deep cross that deceived Siobhan Chamberlain in the England goal and dropped in the top corner.
 
It was a warning for England as they sought to run away with the game, but just on the stroke of half time Lianne Sanderson restored the three-goal advantage with a calmly taken finish inside the six yard box.
 
The second half was more difficult as heavy rain and hailstones made for tough conditions, and Belarus edged ever further towards their own goal. Birthday girl Lindsay Johnson came on, as did Everton teammate Jody Handley and Birmingham's Laura Bassett.
 
Williams completed her hat-trick with another terrific effort from distance, before captain Faye White got on the scoresheet again, heading home from a terrific cross from Arsenal teammate Rachel Yankey.
 
England, five points clear at the top of group one, now have just two remaining qualifiers in their bid to qualify for the European Championship in Finland next year, taking on Czech Republic on 28 September and Spain four days later. Both games are away from home. (www.TheFA.com)

Belarus: Sviatlana Novikava, Oksana Shpak, Alesia Baranova (sub Sviatlana Znaidzionova 77mins), Volha Novikava, Natalya Ryzhevich, Irina Kozeeva, Maryna Lis (sub Tatsiana Kiose 68mins), Svetlana Astasheva (sub Volha Manzhuk 61mins), Elena Shevtsova, Alina Vasilyeva, Nina Akhvymuk. Subs not used: Ina Batsianouskaya, Volha Radzko, Alena Buzinova, Sviatlana Ryzhova.

England: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Scott (sub Lindsay Johnson 45mins), Casey Stoney, Jill Scott, Faye White, Anita Asante, Karen Carney (sub Jody Handley 45mins), Fara Williams, Lianne Sanderson, Kelly Smith (sub Laura Bassett 59mins), Rachel Yankey. Subs not used: Rachel Brown, Sue Smith, Mary Phillip, Rachel Unitt.

 
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