England WU19s 8-1 Northern Ireland
Everton midfielder Grace Clinton scored a hat-trick as England WU19s beat Northern Ireland 8-1 to take a step closer to qualifying for next summer’s 2022 UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship.
A double from Liverpool’s Lucy Parry and goals from Aston Villa’s Missy Goodwin and Freya Gregory, plus another from Chelsea’s Aggie Beever-Jones, ensured Gemma Davies’ side recorded a memorable victory at Jackman Park in Limerick.
The Young Lionesses had kicked off their 2022 UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship qualifying campaign on Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland.
Their League A - Group 5 qualifying campaign will finish on Tuesday (kick-off 1pm) when they face Switzerland, with the top three teams remaining in Group A qualifying for the second round next year.
From the 52 countries that entered, the seven Group A winners after the second round of qualifying will join hosts Czech Republic in the eight-nation finals to be played between 27 June and 9 July.
With England WU19s winning their first two matches of round one qualifying, it means they are guaranteed to finish in the top three and therefore remain in Group A for second round qualifying regardless of their result against Switzerland on Tuesday.
Clinton set the tone after just six minutes against Northern Ireland on Saturday when she capitalised on a mistake by a Northern Ireland player just outside the penalty box.
The advantage was doubled on the half-hour mark when Goodwin cut in from the right and sent a left-footed shot into the top corner.
Northern Ireland pulled one back just before the break when Spurs goalkeeper Eleanor Heeps’ miscontrol allowed Kathryn Dickson to score.
Northern Ireland’s Sarah Jane McMaster brought down Alex Hennessy in the penalty box early in the second half to allow Gregory to calmly restore the two-goal advantage from the penalty spot.
And then five goals in the final quarter ensured an emphatic victory for the visitors.
Clinton got her second on 67 minutes and then half-time replacement Parry made it 5-1 with a quarter of an hour remaining.
The Liverpool full back then scored her second soon after and Bristol City loanee Beever-Jones made it 7-1 on 88 minutes, leaving Clinton to complete her hat-trick and round off a memorable afternoon in injury-time.
England: 13 Eleanor Heeps (Blackburn Rovers, loan from Tottenham Hotspur), 2 Jorja Fox (Chelsea), 6 Teyah Goldie (Arsenal) ©, 10 Laura Blindkilde Brown (Aston Villa), 11 Freya Gregory (Aston Villa), 15 Grace Clinton (Everton), 16 Mia Ross (Charlton Athletic), 17 Alex Hennessy (Arsenal), 18 Caitlin Smith (Clemson University), 19 Missy Goodwin (Aston Villa), 20 Olivia McLoughlin (Aston Villa)
Substitutes: 3 Lucy Parry (Liverpool) for Fox 46, 7 Aggie Beever-Jones (Bristol City, loan from Chelsea) for Hennessy 65, 9 Lucy Watson (Sheffield United) for Gregory 80
Substitutes not used: 1 Khiara Keating (Fylde, loan from Manchester City), 4 Charlotte Wardlaw (Liverpool, loan from Chelsea), 5 Ruby Mace (Manchester City), 8 Maisie Symonds (Brighton & Hove Albion), 12 Tara Bourne (Sheffield United, loan from Manchester United), 14 Lucia Kendall (Southampton)
Head coach: Gemma Davies
Goals: Grace Clinton 6, 67, 90+2, Missy Goodwin 30, Freya Gregory 49 (P), Lucy Parry 75, 82, Aggie Beever-Jones 88