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England snatch last gasp winner
 Women's Football News 8 Apr 2013
 
England 1 (White 90) Canada 0
att: 4,875; at the New York Stadium, Rotherham United FC

An opportunist injury time goal from Ellen White gave England their second victory over Canada in as many months and kept their Euro 2013 preparations nicely on course. 
 
The two teams had been evenly matched for most of the game but the majority of the chances had gone England's way and the bright performances of second half substitutes Jordan Nobbs, Toni Duggan and Jess Clarke were a huge bonus from a largely disappointing match.
 
Before the match, there was a presentation to Canadian midfielder Diana Matheson to mark the occasion of winning her 150th cap. There was also a significant milestone for Rachel Yankey who was making her 125th appearance for England, equalling Peter Shilton's all-time record.
 
England started the match brightly, winning a corner in the opening two minutes and Yankey's inswinging kick was nodded wide by Steph Houghton, under pressure from Kaylyn Kyle.
 
England's most enterprising move so far came as Eniola Aluko exchanged passes with Ellen White before sending in a dangerous low cross but no England player was on hand in the area and the danger was averted.
 
Canada began to find more fluency in their play and after winning a corner that was half cleared, Christine Sinclair held the ball up well and threaded it wide to Carmelina Moscato. She floated a cross in the area and Karen Bardsley hesitated while coming out, almost allowing Tiffany Cameron to nip in but she was crowded out by the England defence.
 
Houghton tested Erin McLeod with a header from a Yankey corner but England were almost caught out by a long ball from Rhian Wilkinson which was latched onto by Cameron but her tamely struck effort was comfortably saved by Bardsley.
 
White made a good run down the left and spread the play out to the right for Yankey and although the initial cross was cut out, the ball fell Aluko whose shot was saved by McLeod. Houghton then drove over from 25 yards as England tried to force the play in what had largely been a scrappy midfield battle.
 
Canada thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Alex Scott appeared to handle in the area but the referee deemed it accidental and play was waved on. The teams continued to cancel each other out in a dull affair and the first half unsurprisingly ended goalless.
 
After the break, a Schmidt corner to the far post picked out Sinclair whose downward header was saved by Bardsley. Schmidt then dragged a shot wide on the turn as Canada looked to step up the pace early in the second half.
 
However the next opportunity was to go England's way, again following a set piece. Houghton fed Yankey on the left where her cross picked out Anita Asante on the edge of the area but the midfielder skied her shot over the bar.
 
Jordan Nobbs almost made an instant impact with her first touch, seconds after coming on as a substitute. Alex Scott and Aluko combined to set up a chance from 20 yards which she drilled inches over the bar.
 
The best chance of the game so far was to come shortly afterwards. White found Jill Scott whose pass picked out an unmarked Williams in front of goal, however McLeod was quickly off her line to make a great point blank save and White drove the rebound just wide from the edge of the area.
 
Houghton forced a save from McLeod with a long range free kick and then a good move saw Houghton and Toni Duggan combine to release Yankey down the left, her cross to the edge of the area picked out Nobbs who had more time than she realised and shot disappointingly wide.
 
The substitutes had breathed fresh life into England and Duggan was next to go close with a dipping shot which landed on the roof of the net. Jess Clarke also contributed well with good persistence on the right to win the ball back from Lauren Sesselmann and Nobbs set up Alex Scott who fired wide.
 
There was a scare at the other end though as Matheson executed a perfect piece of control before finding Sinclair on the edge of the area but the Canadian star's shot was charged down by Alex Scott. This was to be a rare chance for a lacklustre Canada side and the game seemed to be heading for stalemate until England came up with a late, late blow.
 
As the game went into the second minute of injury time, good work down the left by Jill Scott ended with her finding Williams on the edge of the area. Her shot was heading wide but White dived headlong to plant a firm header past McLeod and into the corner of the net.
 
It could even have been two moments later as Houghton unleashed a shot which fizzed inches past White before she was able to react this time. That was the last chance though and England were able to see the game out for another notable victory over one of their major world rivals. 
 
England: Karen Bardsley (sub Rachel Brown 59mins), Alex Scott, Steph Houghton, Anita Asante (sub Jordan Nobbs 59mins), Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Eniola Aluko (sub Toni Duggan 69mins), Jill Scott, Ellen White, Fara Williams, Rachel Yankey (sub Jess Clarke 82mins). Subs not used: Dunia Susi, Laura Bassett, Gemma Bonner, Rachel Williams, Siobhan Chamberlain, Jade Moore, Kerys Harrop.

Canada: Erin McLeod, Kylla Sjoman (sub Lauren Sesselmann 75mins), Tiffany Cameron (sub Jodi-Ann Robinson 80mins), Carmelina Moscato, Kadeisha Buchanan, Kaylyn Kyle, Rhian Wilkinson (sub Emily Zurrer 69mins), Diana Matheson, Sophie Schmidt (sub Adriana Leon 71mins), Christine Sinclair, Desiree Scott. Subs not used: Robyn Gayle, Ashley Lawrence, Jonelle Filigno, Chelsea Stewart, Karina LeBlanc.


 
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