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England 8 (White 8, Williams 20,40,65, Clarke 37,76, Westwood 77, Unitt 87)
att: 3,681; at Blackpool F.C.
England opened up their World Cup qualifying campaign with a stroll to victory against a weak Malta side and could have won by a bigger margin but for wayward finishing and Maltese goalkeeper Sharon Costantino.
Fara Williams led the scoring with a hat-trick and took her total of England goals past the 30-mark in the process, whilst Jess Clarke weighed in with a double.
Hope Powell opted to rest several of her first choice players and gave starts to the likes of goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, Rachel Unitt, Laura Bassett and Lianne Sanderson as well as a first competitive start for Dani Buet in midfield.
England were quickly on the attack from the start and it took a good save from Sharon Costantino to prevent Lianne Sanderson from putting them in front and the follow up from Jill Scott was blocked.
However the inevitable breakthrough came as England were awarded a free kick on the right, just outside the area. Sue Smith's curled effort struck the inside of the post and Faye White was left with the simplest of tasks to tap home the loose ball.
It should have been two as Alex Scott's through ball found Fara Williams who rounded the keeper but put her shot into the side netting. The resulting goal kick was intercepted and Sanderson's powerful strike was blocked by Costantino.
Sanderson again brought out a good save, this time after a good run and cross by Smith but the second goal arrived on 20 minutes. The ball broke for Sanderson in the area and she picked out Williams who made no mistake from close range.
Williams had a great chance to increase the advantage after Sanderson laid Buet's pass into her path but Costantino did well to save. The resulting corner picked out Buet whose miscued volley was touched on to Clarke who stabbed the ball in from six yards.
Three minutes later and it was four; Clarke broke down the right and crossed for Williams to sweep home at point blank range. Jill Scott was denied by a good save as she latched onto a neat chip from Williams but England had to settle for four at the end of the one-sided half.
Things got even worse for Malta just before the hour mark as they were reduced to ten players when Natasha Pace was sent off for a second bookable offence, tripping up Williams as she carried the ball towards the Maltese area.
Jody Handley drilled a shot just wide following good work down the left by Clarke but Williams was to complete her hat-trick with a neat glancing header from Sue Smith's driven cross from the right.
Lindsay Johnson got the ball in the net from a Rachel Unitt free kick but the goal was ruled out by an offside flag. England still pressed with Jill Scott hitting the bar with a header from a corner, the ball was cleared for another corner from which Clarke hit the post but slotted home the rebound for her second goal.
Emily Westwood passed up a glorious chance to score moments later as she sent a free header over the bar, but the midfielder more than made up for it as she crashed home a superb left foot shot from 25 yards to make it 7-0.
England players continue to queue up for efforts on goal, Alex Scott firing over the bar after a mazy run by Smith. Johnson saw a shot cleared off the line from another inswinging corner from Smith and Buet shot over the bar after being put through by Bassett.
A slick move saw Alex Scott exchange passes with Buet before her shot was saved but Unitt was on hand to tuck home the rebound with her right foot. Johnson was inches away from reaching a Clarke free kick and Handley was denied by the overworked Costantino as England sought even more goals but had to settle for a tally of eight.
England: Karen Bardsley, Alex Scott, Rachel Unitt, Danielle Buet, Faye White (sub Lindsay Johnson 58mins), Laura Bassett, Jessica Clarke, Jill Scott, Lianne Sanderson (sub Jody Handley 53mins), Fara Williams (sub Emily Westwood 67mins), Sue Smith. Subs: Rachel Brown, Katie Chapman, Casey Stoney, Eniola Aluko.
Malta: Sharon Costantino, Natasha Pace, Rebecca Dagostino, Dorianne Theuma, Ylenia Carabott, Rachel Cuschieri, Rebecca Chircop (sub Kathleen Saliba 63mins), Catherine Camilleri (sub Marisa Deguara 51mins), Mandy Debono (sub Chantal Marie Fenech 85mins), Kimberly Pamis, Charlene Zammit. Subs not used: Michelle Nicole Zahra, Chantal Marie Fenech, Corissa Vella White, Maria Azzopardi, Emma Xuerreb.
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