Report: England WU23s 1-1 Spain
Ella Morris' impressive goal cancelled out by late Spain equaliser
England women’s under-23s ended 2023 unbeaten for the year following their 1-1 draw against Spain.
The Young Lionesses have beaten France, Portugal and Belgium in recent months and continued their unbeaten form in 2023 this season with further draws against Italy, Norway and now Spain.
And after seeing the fixture moved from Burton Albion to nearby St. George’s Park due to a waterlogged pitch, it looked as though an impressive first-half goal from Ella Morris would be enough to decide this contest before the visitors grabbed a late equaliser.
It was a largely uneventful opening quarter but England took the lead in emphatic fashion around the half-hour mark when Katie Robinson split the Spanish defence with a ball down the right and Morris latched on to the pass before slotting it beyond the goalkeeper into the far left corner.
Robinson thought she had doubled the lead nine minutes later when she had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for offside.
Spain started to get on top at the start of the second half and Emily Ramsey needed to get down low to make an incredible save from Aida Esteve Quintero’s shot from inside the box which was heading for the bottom corner.
Aggie Beever-Jones thought she had continued her fine form in front of goal when she had the ball in the back of the net just after the hour mark but again it was ruled out for offside.
The Chelsea striker went close once more soon after when she headed Robinson’s delivery from the right just wide.
England were on top by this point and good work from Jess Naz led to captain Missy Bo Kearns having a shot from the edge of the box saved moments later.
But with just five minutes of normal time remaining, Spain equalised when Paula Arana Montes headed across goal and into the bottom corner.
Deep into injury-time Lucia Kendall had a swerving effort saved and Spain fired over the bar following an impressive run but both sides had to settle for a draw.
England: 1 Emily Ramsey (Everton), 2 Ella Morris (Southampton), 3 Poppy Pattinson (Brighton & Hove Albion), 4 Maisie Symonds (Brighton & Hove Albion), 5 Naomi Layzell (Bristol City), 6 Kiera Skeels (Charlton Athletic), 7 Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion), 8 Missy Bo Kearns (Liverpool) ©, 9 Aggie Beever-Jones (Chelsea), 10 Laura Blindkilde Brown (Aston Villa), 11 Jessica Naz (Tottenham Hotspur)
Substitutes not used: 13 Lucy Thomas (Birmingham City), 15 Freya Gregory (Reading, on loan from Aston Villa), 16 Mia Ross (Charlton Athletic), 18 Asmita Ale (Tottenham Hotspur), 19 Annie Hutchings (Blackburn Rovers, dual registration with Manchester City), 20 Hannah Silcock (Blackburn Rovers, loan from Liverpool), 21 Neve Herron (Birmingham City)
Head coach: Emma Coates
Goals: Ella Morris 30
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