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England 3 (England 17, Mead 20, Williamson 86)>
Czech Republic 2 (Szewieczková 15,27)
England 3 (England 17, Mead 20, Williamson 86)
Leah Williamson scored a late winner with her first international goal as England Women ended the year with a 3-2 victory in the Czech Republic.
Thereza Szewieczková put the hosts ahead on 15 minutes before quickfire goals by Beth England and Beth Mead put Phil Neville's side in front. Szewieczková restored parity just before the half hour mark with a pearler from range but Williamson nabbed the winner with just four minutes remaining.
It was England's 20th match of an extremely busy year which took in a fourth place finish at the World Cup in France and a victorious SheBelieves Cup campaign in USA, but this was only their second win in eight matches and both were the result of goalkeeping errors from the opposition.
Carly Telford replaced Mary Earps in goal, Millie Bright came in for the rested Steph Houghton and England took over from Ellen White, who has only recently returned from injury. Lucy Staniforth was in for Jordan Nobbs and Demi Stokes replaced Alex Greenwood at left back.
If England thought they would be able to ease down at the end of a manic year, four goals in the opening 27 minutes made them think again. Szewieczková had already hit a header over the top, when unmarked from close range, but she made amends on the quarter hour mark by finishing coolly after being found by Katerina Svitkova's tidy through ball.
The visitors' reply was instant. England, who had already had a goal disallowed for offside, levelled on 17 minutes when she converted Nikita Parris' cut back from the goal line. Three minutes later, Mead nudged the Lionesses ahead just moments later. The Arsenal forward was found in space inside the Czech Republic box by Staniforth, she took a touch and then curled a clinical shot into the far corner. But the hosts rallied as Szewieczková levelled matters once more with a thumping drive from 20 yards out.
The beginning of the second half was far less frantic with Staniforth's off-target 25-yard strike the only real chance of note until Neville's side had another goal ruled out just after the hour mark. Mead thought she had headed her country into a 3-2 lead but referee Ewa Augustyn chalked the goal off for a foul by Jill Scott in the build up.
Bright, who has yet to open her England account, clipped the bar with a close range effort in the first half and she tried her luck after the break, too. The centre back picked up a loose ball 30 yards from goal, strolled forward and smashed a left foot piledriver goalwards - but Barbora Votíková was equal to it.
As the snow continued to fall and the temperature also, it looked as though England's run was going to continue but after the Czech defence failed to clear a corner, the ball was played back to Williamson whose deflected shot from the edge of the area went under the dive of Barbora Votíková, who made a hash of what ought to have been a routine save.
England will not be in action again until they begin the defence of their SheBelieves Cup crown early next year.
Czech Republic: Barbora Votikova, Andrea Jarchovska, Eliska Sonntagova, Petra Bertholdova, Klara Cahynova, Andrea Staskova (sub Kamila Dubcova 85mins), Lucie Martinkova, Jana Sedlackova, Tereza Szwieczkova (sub Michaela Khyrova 71mins), Katerina Svitkova, Lucie Vonkova.
England: Carly Telford, Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Keira Walsh, Millie Bright, Leah Williamson, Nikita Parris (sub Lauren Hemp 64mins), Jill Scott, Beth England (sub Rachel Daly 77mins), Lucy Staniforth (sub Jordan Nobbs 77mins), Beth Mead.
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