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Holland 0 England 0
England dug in to pick up a hard earned point from their important UEFA Women's Championship clash with Holland on the artificial surface at Zwolle.
It could have been better for Hope Powell's side as Fara Williams missed a second half penalty but it needed a resolute performance from the England back four as Holland largely had the better in a disappointing encounter.
The first real opening came just before the quarter hour as Sylvia Smit found space on the right where her low cross picked out Manon Melis who could perhaps have done better with her effort on goal, which drifted wide. Smit was looking sharp out wide and she again broke quickly moments later and this time her angled shot was saved by Karen Bardsley.
Sherida Spitse was off target from long distance and Melis tested Bardsley after latching onto a headed clearance from Sophie Bradley which lacked power.
Holland continued to look the more dangerous side going forward and Anouk Hoogendijk clipped a pass into the area for Melis to hold. A return ball would have put the midfielder through on goal but instead Melis elected to turn and shoot, her effort rolling wide of the post.
The second half continued with Holland having the greater of the possession but England were handed a glorious chance four minutes after the restart as Karen Carney rolled a great pass into the path of Fara Williams who was brought down by Lois Geurts as she tried to score. The Dutch keeper was yellow carded for her foul and Williams stepped up herself to take the kick but her shot lacked power and Geurts got down to save.
Back came Holland with the speedy Melis bursting into the area where her shot flew straight at Bardsley. Lieke Martens then made a strong run which was not checked by the England defence and her dipping effort from the edge of the area was tipped over by Bardsley.
There was a let off for England as Mandy van den Burg played a free kick into the area which picked out an unmarked Daphne Koster but the Dutch captain's header went wide.
As the game drifted into the last ten minutes, England produced one of their best opportunities so far. White did well to hold the ball up inside the area before laying it off and into the path of Alex Scott who lifted her 20-yard shot just over the bar.
However moments later at the other end there was a huge scare for England as van de Ven cut in from the left and her shot took a huge deflection off Bradley and past a wrongfooted Bardsley but inches over the bar. Van de Ven tried her luck again with a shot from the edge of the area which was just over. Bardsley did well to make a smothering save from Melis after a shot by Chantal de Ridder was deflected into her path as the game ended with stalemate and England undoubtedly the happier of the two sides.
Holland: Lois Geurts, Dyanne Bito, Daphne Koster, Mandy van den Burg, Claudia van den Heiligenberg, Anouk Hoogendijk, Sylvia Smit, Sherida Spitse, Manon Melis, Kirsten van de Ven, Lieke Martens (sub Chantal de Ridder 68mins). Subs not used: Angela Christ, Kika van Es, Manoe Meulen, Petra Hogewoning, Marije Brummel, Danielle van de Donk.
England: Karen Bardsley, Alex Scott, Rachel Unitt, Jill Scott, Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Jess Clarke (sub Steph Houghton 45mins), Fara Williams, Ellen White, Karen Carney, Rachel Yankey. Subs not used: Siobhan Chamberlain, Eniola Aluko, Laura Bassett, Fern Whelan, Dunia Susi, Rachel Williams.
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