Lionesses’ Match Reports – Friendlies

England vs NZ 1st June 2019
Normally I write my match reports during the game but we were actually there and had seats behind the goal so I needed to concentrate in case I got splattered by the ball.
We lost, 1-0, but I thought we played some fabulous football and the only part of our play that was missing was a good finish. We were composed on the ball, totally controlled the game and some of the passing play and movement off the ball was sublime.
It was so good that I’m going to watch it on iPlayer when it appears.
There was a bumper crowd of just over 20,000 people at the Amex, the sun was shining (thank goodness for pocket size pots of sun cream) and the atmosphere was brilliant. It was lovely to see so many families with young children, Dad’s & daughters, mother’s & sons. I’m not sure if the stadium staff thought there might be crowd trouble as we weren’t allowed to take drinks bottle tops to our seats?!
Roll on the #FIFAWWC – England have a top quality squad, can play some brilliant football and are rightly one of the favourites. Bring it home #Lionesses
I’m now going to wipe all this sun cream off, make a cup of tea and sit in a dark room planning my football viewing for the next month…

England vs Denmark 25th May 2019

First half isn’t great. We look slow & flat. We can’t seem to string any passes together. Why can’t we recognize this while it’s happening and just play ‘keep-ball’ for a few minutes to gain confidence? The pitch looks green and lush in patches and dry as a desert in others which is possibly not helping things. It’s fairly even and underwhelming (dull). We had a couple of good chances, both missed, Denmark scored right at the end of the half but it’s disallowed for handball (had there been VAR available the goal may have stood). Immediately from the restart we go up the field and a Parris scores. 1-0 England. Football is a funny game….
More of the same in the second half. At one point I say out loud ‘honestly, this is rubbish’. But then a quick England break sees Jill Scott head home for 2-0. Tom laughs at me!! If we can play as badly as this and still win games then I guess that’s good.
Commentator Rachael Brown-Finnis makes me smile when she describes our defence as ‘dangerously porous’! We have moments of good play in the second half, especially after Carney & Kirby come on, getting better but still not good enough.
It’s not great but it’s a win. The #FIFAWWC is going to be a nervy watch…are England tournaments anything other than nervy…?!
My POTM is Jill Scott, RB-F doesn’t agree and goes for Beth Mead. What do I know?!
Let’s hope the final warmup match next week is better – I’ll be there!


England vs Spain 9th April 2019 – World Cup warm-up match #2

It’s a much changed #Lionesses team tonight. This is possibly the last chance for some of them to impress the Manager and book their place in the squad to France.
The first half is a case of Spain have lots of possession but aren’t really creating any good chances, England soak it all up and are quick in the counter-attack. England really begin to settle in to the match after 25minutes and we’re suddenly spending some quality time in the Spanish half of the pitch. A great pass from Moore to Duggan and on to White sees a shot across the goal and a sliding ‘tap-in’ by Mead. Fabulous move…
The England away kit is looking excellent by the way, it’s not bright red so it won’t clash too badly with my hair….on sale 16th May from (sadly I’m not on commission..)
Straight after kickoff in the second half we score – great goal by White but I think Spain still had their heads in the dressing room..!
The second half then goes much the same way as the first and we seem to be nervous again. Spain get a tap-in goal after a fabulous solo run down the left. It’s 2-1 to England.
Spain set up camp in our half of the pitch for most of the second half and the only time we get out is with a big hoof from defence. It’s not great, again…in the end we’re just hanging on, keeping the ball in the corner, parking the bus.
When we relax we play well but we do seem very nervous for too much of the game.
It’s a win but not a convincing one…


England vs Canada 5th April 2019 – World Cup warm-up match #1

It’s Friday evening, I’ve had a G&T (Seville orange flavour, nice) and I wish I’d had a couple more. The first half is dull – it’s bitty, scrappy, loose….I’m so bored that I start watching the referee for a bit – checking out her positioning & decisions. I have a referee promotion evening on Monday so it’s good revision for me. I’m contemplating what to do at half time (watch paint dry? G&T?) when on 43’ Jodie Taylor gets her first meaningful touch of the ball, plays a great pass to Parris whose shot is saved well by the Canadian GK. We need to get the ball to Taylor more often methinks.
Second half starts better – both teams have a couple of chances and the match is improving. I hardly noticed Carney in the first half so it’s no surprise she’s subbed off early second half. Mead is on, there’s hope yet…
Taylor is substituted off at 70’, Ellen White is on, quite frankly I don’t agree with this – Taylor has been fed scraps all night and made the best of them, give her more playing time..
Scott is on, Daly is off and Bronze moves to her familiar role of right back – good, I don’t think the experiment of Bronze in midfield works – she just doesn’t look comfortable there.
Canada score out of the blue – a good shot, rebounds off the crossbar and the Canadians were first to react. I almost blinked and missed it..
Stanway on, Duggan off and the clock just winds down with more missed passes and scrappy football, can you tell I’ve lost interest? We have a penalty shout in injury time – White is held back while running with the ball, it starts outside the penalty box but continues into the area so it’s a penalty (let’s hope that question comes up in the refereeing exam!). No, free kick to Canada…hmmmm
Well that defeat has brought us all back down to earth – maybe it’s just what we need before the World Cup?