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Harding hat-trick boosts Wales hopes
 Women's Football News 21 Jun 2012
 
Harding hat-trick boosts Wales hopes - 21 Jun 2012 - Women's Football NewsWales 5 (Harding 2,28,36, Wiltshire 49, Keryakoplis 71)
Israel 0
at Wrexham F.C.

Natasha Harding hit a first half hat-trick for Wales as they stepped up their Play-Off challenge for the Euro 2013 Finals by strolling to a comfortable victory over Israel at the GlynDwr University Racecourse Stadium. 
 
Jarmo Matikainen made one alteration to the side which picked up an excellent 1-0 win away to Republic of Ireland with Loren Dykes returning from suspension to the right back spot, in place of Angharad James who was on the bench.
 
With just over two minutes on the clock, Wales found themselves ahead. Jessica Fishlock picked up the ball in space and chipped a pass into the area for Harding to run onto and she slotted past Merav Shamir to register her first international goal.
 
Sarah Wiltshire shot straight at Shamir following a good move and Dykes was next to go close, exchanging passes with Wiltshire on the edge of the area before her left footed strike was saved by Shamir.
 
Fishlock dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area but just over a minute later, Wales increased their lead. Wiltshire had been causing problems with inswinging corners from the left and another effort was not dealt with by Shamir under pressure from Sophie Ingle, and Harding was on the spot to head in from six yards.
 
Wales continued to win a series of corners and Wiltshire's deliveries continued to trouble the Israeli defence. Another inswinger from the left was fractionally too high for Helen Lander at the far post but the next one, taken from the right, picked out Harding who promptly thumped home a header to complete her hat-trick.
 
Wales had completely dominated the first forty minutes but Israel had a decent spell leading up to half time, winning a number of corners themselves. One such kick, taken by Moran Fridman, was only half cleared by the Welsh defence and Rachel Shelina unleashed a firmly struck volley which was well held by Nicola Davies.
 
Matikainen introduced Hannah Keryakoplis as a half time substitute and they were quickly on the attack again but Fishlock miscued her left foot shot wide from the edge of the area.
 
However the fourth goal was not long in coming as Keryakoplis fed Wiltshire in virtually the same position and she unleashed a fierce left foot shot which beat Shamir and went in off the post for her first goal for her country.
 
The match was now over as a contest and Wales dropped a gear whilst Israel were concentrating on damage limitation. Wales were not able to create another chance until midway through the half and Wiltshire was again involved, this time playing the ball into the area for Keryakoplis who saw her shot on the turn saved.
 
Wales were to register a fifth goal though, this time Harding turning provider as her cross picked out Keryakoplis who held off a defender before giving Shamir no chance with a low shot. The highly rated teenager therefore became the third player on the night to score her first senior goal for Wales.
 
There was another opportunity late on as Dykes played the ball in for Lander to lay off in the path of the lively Keryakoplis who fired over but the job had been done by Wales who have a genuine chance of finishing in second place in the group, if they beat Scotland in their final match in September.
 
Wales: Nicola Davies, Loren Dykes, Sophie Ingle, Kylie Davies, Nia Jones, Natasha Harding (sub Amie Lea 74mins), Sarah Wiltshire, Michelle Green (sub Angharad James 78mins), Helen Lander, Gwennan Harries (sub Hannah Keryakoplis 45mins), Jessica Fishlock. Subs not used: Rhian Nokes, Sally Wade, Lauren Price, Lauren Townsend.

Israel: Merav Shamir, Michal Ravitz, Maya Barqui, Diana Redman, Moran Lavi, Lee Sima Falkon, Sarit Shenar (sub Yifat Cohen 74mins), Rachel Shelina, Adva Tawil (sub Karin Sendel 62mins), Or Erez, Moran Fridman. Subs not used: Sapir Kadori, Naama Cohen, Oshrat Eni, Nora Abo Shanab, Shir Levo.

 
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