A fortunate Leah Williamson goal spared Phil Neville’s blushes in České Budějovice as England clawed their way to beat the Czech Republic 3-2, a team ranked 23 places below them in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings.
Despite snowy conditions and a dogged performance from the home side, the result will do little to silence the critics as concerns remain about the Lionesses’ future under the current management.
Here are our player ratings from last night’s match as the Lionesses recorded just their second win in eight games.
Carly Telford 5
Left exposed by her defence for the first goal but will feel a little disappointed to be beaten from
distance for the second an even more so to concede from two of the three Czech shots on target.
Lucy Bronze 5
Captain for the evening in Steph Houghton’s absence, Bronze would’ve been partially responsible for the high defensive line that was exploited by the home side as through balls held up in the snow and the back-four failed to compensate.
Millie Bright 7
Met the ball well to intercept when pushing up from the back and great long ball distribution from
deep to instigate many decent England attacks.
Leah Williamson 6
Once again allowed the forwards too much space from crosses and was nearly punished when Andrea Staskova was left unmarked in the six yard box in the opening three minutes. Very fortunate with the winning goal but she won’t care as she sealed the win and claimed her first goal for her country.
Demi Stokes 5
Got in good positions when overlapping Beth Mead on the left but got very few decent balls into the box for the likes of Beth England to get onto the end of.
Keira Walsh 5
Lacked the physicality to protect the back four and the conditions made it difficult to get the ball under control and spray effective passes to players ahead of her so failed to make her presence felt
either offensively or defensively.
Jill Scott 5
Dallied too much on the ball and was caught out by a Czech side who weren’t giving her the time she
expected. Was also too slow to close down Tereza Szewieczková for her brace.
Lucy Staniforth 6
Quick feet in the pockets drew fouls in dangerous areas which caused a lot of issues for the Czech
Nikita Parris 5
Too narrow and was easily closed down, she also seemed reluctant to take players on. When she did
drive forward she was able to cut back for Beth England to draw the travelling side level.
Beth Mead 7
Wonderfully placed finish to put England ahead and found herself in plenty of space on the left and
perhaps would have had much more joy if she was more direct in 1 v 1 situations.
Beth England 7
Had very few chances partly due to a lack of service but a coolly taken first time volley meant she
convincingly staked her case for more international minutes in 2020.
Lauren Hemp 6
A great injection of pace which England desperately needed down the right and not afraid to take on
the tired Czech defence.
Jordan Nobbs 5
Showed a mature head and good game management to see out the victory in the dying minutes.
Rachel Daly 5
Struggled to get into the rhythm of the game when playing in the unfamiliar number nine role under
By Ryan Lee Gregory (@ryanleegregory)