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England 4 (Mead 14,39, Williams pen 33, Sigsworth 65)
England stormed into their fourth UEFA Under-19 Championship Final in seven years with a superb performance which saw them overwhelm Finland at Carmarthen.
Mo Marley opted for an unchanged side and they produced a powerful display to take them through to the Final where they will play France at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.
England had strong shouts for a penalty early on when Beth Mead appeared to be barged over in the area by Katarina Naumanen but their appeals were ignored and play went on.
Paige Williams drove a long distance shot straight at Vera Varis as England continued their lively start and Nikita Parris was just unable to control an excellent crossfield pass by Williams which would have put her in on goal.
England's enterprising start was rewarded on 14 minutes with them taking the lead. Again Williams was heavily involved with another long pass which Emma Koivisto was unable to cut out and Mead was left through on goal, deftly lobbing the ball over a stranded Varis to put her side in front.
The Finnish defence were struggling to cope with the pace of the England forwards and Sigsworth almost broke through a minute later as she sped into the area but took one touch too many and Koivisto was able to get in a block in the nick of time.
Parris almost doubled the lead as she chased a long ball and held off two defenders but her well hit strike brought out a good save from Varis.
Finland's first serious threat on goal came just before the half hour as Ria Oling's pass released Adelina Engman in the area but the angle was too acute and her shot was comfortably saved by Lizzie Durack.
However a good period of possession for England was rewarded with a second goal five minutes later. Melissa Lawley received the ball on the halfway line and played it into the path of Parris who was taken out by the oncoming Varis and a penalty was awarded. For the second match in a row, Williams put the ball on the spot and confidently despatched her shot into the corner of the net.
Six minutes later and England were further ahead. Another crossfield pass by Williams was well controlled by Lawley and laid back for Martha Harris whose deep cross was firmly headed in at the far post by Mead for her second goal.
Finland made a double substitution at half time and one of the new arrivals almost made an instant impact. Receiving the ball on the edge of the area, Iina Salmi thumped a left foot shot which looked destined for the top corner but Durack denied her with a brilliant save, touching the ball onto the bar.
England recovered their composure from the early scare and were inches away from another goal. A corner was half cleared and returned to Williams on the right, her first time cross was met by Katie Zelem whose header was just past the post. Moments later, a clever reverse pass from Zelem released Sigsworth on goal but her shot was well saved at the near post by Varis.
The game was put beyond doubt with 25 minutes remaining with another spectacular strike. The hardworking Sherry McCue won the ball and fed Sigsworth on the edge of the area where she curled an unstoppable shot into the far corner for the fourth goal.
Mead was close to her hat-trick when she was put away by Abbey-Leigh Stringer but was left off balance after being challenged by Naumanen and dragged her shot wide as a result.
Iina Salmi fired a free kick over the bar as the game entered the dying minutes but it was England who went close again during injury time, Lawley almost scoring with a fine solo effort as she ran through the Finnish defence but Varis denied her with a good save.
England celebrations could begin just a few minutes later though and their sixth consecutive clean sheet helped carry them to a convincing victory and now France await them.
England: Lizzie Durack, Martha Harris, Paige Williams, Katie Zelem (sub Abbey-Leigh Stringer 75mins), Aoife Mannion, Meaghan Sargeant, Melissa Lawley, Sherry McCue, Nikita Parris (sub Hannah Blundell 71mins), Jess Sigsworth, Beth Mead (sub Natasha Flint 85mins). Subs not used: Megan Walsh, Felicity Gibbons, Jade Bailey, Ellie Stewart.
Finland: Vera Varis, Paula Auvinen (sub Tia Halinen 45mins), Tiia Peltonen, Katarina Naumanen, Emma Koivisto, Emilia Iskanius, Ria Oling (sub Iina Salmi 45mins), Erika Winter, Juliette Kemppi, Julia Tunturi (sub Elina Salmi 82mins), Adelina Engman. Subs not used: Krista Moisio, Elina Salmi, Sini Laaksonen, Vera Saastamoinen, Ella-Rosa Huusko.
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Beth Mead lobs home England's opening goal
(middle) Nikita Parris is brought down by Vera Varis for the penalty
(bottom) Sherry McCue battles for the ball with Iina Salmi
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