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England 1 (Scott 68)
Bosnia & Herzegovina 0
att: 13,040; at Bristol City F.C.
England rounded off their year with a victory but were made to wait until midway through the second half before making the breakthrough in awful weather conditions at Ashton Gate.
In the end it was substitute Jill Scott who headed in the winning goal as England battled against the rain and strong wind as well as the visitors' blanket defence, plus goalkeeper Almina Hodzic who gave an excellent display throughout the game.
After the pre-match ceremonies in which special caps were presented to the players who had won over 100 caps, England tried to get into their stride early on and the 'attack v defence' pattern of the match got under way.
As the ten minute mark arrived, England were literally inches away from taking the lead when Jordan Nobbs found space at the edge of the area and unleashed a shot which struck the underside of the bar. Hodzic somehow managed to prevent Isobel Christiansen from nodding home the rebound before doing extremely well to block from Jess Clarke as she tried to fire home the loose ball.
Another glorious chance was to come as Nobbs broke into the area and her low cross picked out Eniola Aluko at the near post but the striker stabbed her shot wide from six yards.
Such was the one-sidedness of the encounter that England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was being cheered on the rare occasions she touched the ball, whilst her counterpart at the other end was impressing as she claimed a number of crosses in the blustery conditions.
Aluko sent a free header over the bar after Steph Houghton had nodded on a Christiansen corner and Clarke twice had shots charged down as England continually pounded the resilient Bosnian defence, but they held on under the pressure to take a goalless scoreline into the interval.
Nobbs tried her luck with a low, long range effort early in the second half which was again well gathered by Hodzic. Christiansen was next to be denied as she drove an angled free kick towards goal but Hodzic again did well to claw the ball away.
Hodzic parried away a long range effort from Davison but finally, at the midway point of the second half, the breakthrough came. Aluko's neat cross from the goal line picked out Jill Scott whose downward header squeezed under the body of Hodzic and over the line to put England in front.
Nobbs fired over from just inside the area and the Arsenal midfielder drilled another long range effort narrowly wide as England sought a second goal, whilst Aluko was off target with a glancing header from a teasing cross by Scott.
The game was over as a contest, due to Bosnia making no attempt to try and get back on terms and two time wasting substitutions in injury time contributed to their damage limitation tactics. It was hard not to feel sympathy for striker Mileria Nikolic who ploughed a lonely furrow up front and was crowded out every time she received the ball.
There was a memorable moment near the end for Jemma Rose as came on for her senior debut in place of Houghton, in the city where has she played for a large part of her career. The job was done for England who can now pause and reflect on a memorable year, before moving on in 2016.
England: Karen Bardsley, Amy Turner, Demi Stokes, Laura Bassett, Steph Houghton (sub Jemma Rose 83mins), Casey Stoney, Jess Clarke (sub Jill Scott 54mins), Jordan Nobbs, Eniola Aluko, Isobel Christiansen (sub Toni Duggan 59mins), Gemma Davison. Subs not used: Carly Telford, Ellen White, Fran Kirby, Fara Williams.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Almina Hodzic, Nikolina Dijakovic (sub Amna Lihovic 80mins), Antonela Radeljic (sub Tatjana Stanic 90mins), Amiea Spahic, Melisa Hasanbegovic, Marija Aleksic, Andela Seslija, Aida Hadzic, Mileria Nikolic, Alisa Spahic (sub Zerena Piskic 90mins), Lidija Kulis. Subs not used: Envera Hasanbegovic, Azra Numanovic, Alma Kameric, Svjetlana Crnjak.
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