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A brace from Natasha Harding and goals from Helen Ward and Lily Woodham secured a comfortable 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands at Rodney Parade as Wales' quest for Euro 2021 qualification continues.
Wales started the game strongly and forced the Faroe Islands to play deep from the outset. Within the first ten minutes, Jessica Fishlock supplied dangerous crosses into the box from the left hand side. Kayleigh Green's header came close after nine minutes, edging just over the bar before another Fishlock cross found Angharad James and resulted in another header going wide.
Ludlow's squad were in control of the game and proved a handful for the Faroe Islands' defence, creating plenty of chances but failing to hit the target until the 26th minute, when James found space in the box to force a save from Joensen.
With chances coming in thick and fast, it was only a matter of time before Wales would convert one into a goal. After the half hour mark, Fishlock threaded the ball into space in the box for Ward, who could guide the ball past the goalkeeper with her left foot. This was Cymru's record goalscorer's first goal in three years and opened the floodgate for others to follow.
Ludlow made two replacements at half time, with Jose Green coming on to replace Fishlock and Rachel Rowe replacing Nadia Lawrence. As with the first 45 minutes, Wales were comfortably in control of the match before Harding solidified the lead after 58 minutes. Gemma Evans crossed the ball from the left hand side into the box before Harding struck a loose ball into the back of the net with ease.
Both Ward and Harding could make a claim for the third goal, as they both seemed to be on the end of Rhiannon Roberts' cross. It was almost a collision of heads which led the ball into the top left hand corner but it was Harding that ultimately got the last touch.
Wales' confidence grew and grew into the second half, with Ludlow making her final three substitutions with 30 minutes left of the match and gave two youngsters, Lily Woodham and Georgia Walters, their senior debuts.
Having replaced Harding, Woodham instantly made an impact and secured her first goal within five minutes of her debut. Rachel Rowe supplied a great cross into the box from the right hand side which Woodham headed majestically into the back of the net.
Following the match, Ludlow told faw.cymru: "We started a little bit slower than we would have liked but I'm really pleased with the result and the performance."
The manager was full of praise for Lily Woodham, and added: "Lily is one of our age group players - she's been with us since she was 12 years old and it's fantastic to see her progression."
Woodham was ecstatic to get her first goal on her senior debut: "I've been with the age groups for years and it's been a dream of mine for years to make my debut, I can't quite put it into words how much it means to me. I'm buzzing to get my debut and a goal was just a bonus really! I'm over the moon."
The focus now turns to Tuesday (27 October) night where Wales will face the group leaders Norway at Cardiff City Stadium in their penultimate match of the EURO 2021 qualification campaign.
Wales: Laura O'Sullivan, Gemma Evans, Sophie Ingle, Rhiannon Roberts, Helen Ward (sub Kylie Nolan 62mins), Angharad James, Kayleigh Green (sub Lily Woodham 62mins), Jessica Fishlock (sub Josie Green 45mins), Natasha Harding (sub Georgia Walters 62mins), Hayley Ladd, Nadia Lawrence (sub Rachel Rowe 53mins). Subs not used: Olivia Clark, Poppy Soper, Maria Francis-Jones, Elise Hughes, Charlotte Estcourt, Carrie Jones, Chloe Williams.
Faroe Islands: Ëluva Joensen, Elisabeth Vang, Birita Ryan, Heidi Sevdal, ┴sla Johannesen, Kßra Djurhuus (sub Marita ┴ FrÝriksm°rk 87mins), Olga Kristina Hansen (sub Mona Rasmusdˇttir 79mins), Jensa Kannuberg Tˇrolvsdˇttir (sub Evi ┴ Lakjuni 69mins), Sanna Jacobsen (sub Sarita Maria Mittfoss 87mins), Sara Samson Lamhauge (sub Lea Lisberg 79mins), Jacoba Langgaard. Subs not used: Monika Biskopst°, Valborg ěster°, Maria ┴ Lakjuni, Hanna Lamhauge Jacobsen, Sarita Maria Mittfoss.
Photo - Helen Ward gives Wales the lead
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