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White hat-trick as England thrash NI

Published on: 23 February 2021

Ellen White scored a hat-trick as England thrashed Northern Ireland in Hege Riise's first game as temporary Lionesses boss.

In a friendly played at England's St George's Park training base, Norwegian Riise, overseeing the Lionesses squad until Sarina Wiegman takes charge after the summer Olympics, saw her side overwhelm the visitors.

White's superb treble, a Lucy Bronze tap-in, Rachel Daly's close-range finish and an Ella Toone penalty made for a resounding win in England's first game in almost 12 months and first since the departure of manager Phil Neville.

And midfielder Jill Scott put in a commanding performance to mark her 150th England appearance, becoming only the second women's player to reach that tally after Fara Williams.

Kenny Shiels' depleted Northern Ireland failed to register a shot of any description but will now focus on the more pressing task of qualification for next year's Euros, when they play in April's play-off.

They had Becky Flaherty to thank for keeping the scoreline down, with the Sheffield United keeper making a string of superb saves, but the result reflected the 43 places between the sides in the world rankings.

    Reaction from England v Northern Ireland

Hege gets her attacking desire

Brought into the plug the gap between Neville and his successor Wiegman - who will take the reins after leading her native Netherlands at the Olympics - Riise had spoken of trying to bring attacking intent to this England team, who had stuttered to just three wins from Neville's final nine games in charge before a long period without matches as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

And the Norway legend got precisely what she asked for, with the Lionesses moving the ball quickly from the back to create a flurry of opportunities.

White was the main beneficiary, moving on to 39 international goals, first by capitalising after being gifted the ball by the Northern Irish defence, nodding in Bronze's cross and then finishing a pass from Scott, who was given the captain's armband on her landmark 150th cap.

Bronze, the Fifa Best Women's Player of 2020, had tapped in Lauren Hemp's low cross before half-time and later rolled the ball across for Daly to bundle in, before debutant Ella Toone scored from the spot after Rachel Holloway brought down Chloe Kelly.

England, who were also able to bring on Sandy MacIver, Ebony Salmon and Carlotte Wubben-Moy for debuts, have one more friendly, against Canada in April, before a Great Britain team will head to Japan for the Olympics, although the FA is yet to name who will manage the team in Tokyo.

Bigger games to come for Northern Ireland

Hege could well be on the coaching staff when it comes to selecting the Team GB squad, although few of the Northern Ireland team would have made a convincing argument for inclusion based on this game alone.

This result should not detract from the impressive progress Shiel's side have made, winning all four of their final group qualifiers at the end of last year to raise the prospect of reaching the European Championship.

Northern Ireland women will go to their first ever major tournament if they can win April's two-legged play-off, against an as yet unknown opponent, but they will need a stronger performance and more experienced squad to give themselves the best chance possible.

Northern Ireland arrived at St George's Park with a large swathe of their squad unavailable through injuries and work commitments, with sisters Kirsty and Caitlin McGuinness, first-choice keeper Jackie Burns and midfielder Demi Vance all missing out.

That meant there was a spot for 16-year-old Ella Haughey on the bench along with Holloway's first start at left-back and, while Burns' replacement Flaherty impressed between the sticks, the visitors hardly laid a glove on England, barely getting into the home side's half.

There were snippets of Shiel's continued desire to see his side play out from the back, but it frequently led to gifting the ball to England and ultimately led to a thumping defeat.

Player of the match

WhiteEllen White

with an average of 8.38

    EnglandEnglandEnglandN Ireland WomNorthern IrelandNorthern Ireland

EnglandAvgSquad number9Player nameWhiteAverage rating


Squad number8Player nameScottAverage rating


Squad number2Player nameBronzeAverage rating


Squad number14Player nameTooneAverage rating


Squad number10Player nameNobbsAverage rating


Squad number6Player nameWilliamsonAverage rating


Squad number11Player nameHempAverage rating


Squad number4Player nameStanwayAverage rating


Squad number3Player nameGreenwoodAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameDalyAverage rating


Squad number5Player nameHoughtonAverage rating


Squad number17Player nameKellyAverage rating


Squad number15Player nameWubben-MoyAverage rating


Squad number19Player nameEnglandAverage rating


Squad number13Player nameSandy MacIverAverage rating


Squad number20Player nameSalmonAverage rating


Squad number1Player nameRoebuckAverage rating


Northern IrelandAvgSquad number2Player nameBurrowsAverage rating


Squad number22Player nameWatlingAverage rating


Squad number3Player nameMcKennaAverage rating


Squad number18Player nameMcDanielAverage rating


Squad number15Player nameKellyAverage rating


Squad number14Player nameFinneganAverage rating


Squad number12Player nameFlahertyAverage rating


Squad number11Player nameWadeAverage rating


Squad number17Player nameHollowayAverage rating


Squad number5Player nameNelsonAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameMcCarronAverage rating


Squad number13Player nameMageeAverage rating


Squad number4Player nameRobsonAverage rating


Squad number16Player nameCaldwellAverage rating


Squad number9Player nameMagillAverage rating


Squad number8Player nameCallaghanAverage rating


Squad number10Player nameFurnessAverage rating


    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text


Formation 4-2-3-1


    1RoebuckSubstituted forMacIverat 61'minutes2Bronze5Houghton6WilliamsonSubstituted forWubben-Moyat 75'minutes3Greenwood8Scott4Stanway7DalySubstituted forSalmonat 84'minutes10NobbsSubstituted forTooneat 45'minutes11HempSubstituted forKellyat 61'minutes9WhiteSubstituted forEnglandat 76'minutes



N Ireland Wom

Formation 4-4-2


    12Flaherty13Magee5Nelson4RobsonSubstituted forKellyat 84'minutes17HollowaySubstituted forFinneganat 83'minutes11WadeSubstituted forMcDanielat 73'minutes7McCarronSubstituted forMcKennaat 57'minutesBooked at 90mins16CaldwellSubstituted forBurrowsat 84'minutes8CallaghanSubstituted forWatlingat 58'minutes10Furness9Magill



Match StatsHome TeamEnglandAway TeamN Ireland WomPossessionHome59%Away41%ShotsHome25Away0Shots on TargetHome12Away0CornersHome5Away1FoulsHome11Away11Live TextPost update

Match ends, England 6, Northern Ireland Women 0.

90'+5'Full Time

Second Half ends, England 6, Northern Ireland Women 0.

90'+4'Post update

Attempt saved. Beth England (England) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucy Bronze with a cross.


Rebecca McKenna (Northern Ireland Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90'+4'Post update

Chloe Kelly (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90'+4'Post update

Foul by Rebecca McKenna (Northern Ireland Women).

90'+1'Post update

Foul by Jill Scott (England).

90'+1'Post update

Toni Leigh Finnegan (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90'Post update

Foul by Lucy Bronze (England).

90'Post update

Rachel Furness (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

89'Post update

Charlotte Wubben-Moy (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89'Post update

Dangerous play by Abbie Magee (Northern Ireland Women).

88'Post update

Offside, England. Stephanie Houghton tries a through ball, but Ebony Salmon is caught offside.

87'Post update

Foul by Georgia Stanway (England).

87'Post update

Julie Nelson (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85'Post update

Corner, England. Conceded by Toni Leigh Finnegan.


Substitution, England. Ebony Salmon replaces Rachel Daly.


Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Samantha Kelly replaces Sarah Robson.


Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Kelsie Burrows replaces Nadene Caldwell.


Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Toni Leigh Finnegan replaces Rebecca Holloway.

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