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Published 20 February 2023 4 min read
Women's U23

Report: England WU23s 4-1 Belgium

Written by:

Nicholas Veevers

The Young Lionesses impress on the Wirral with victory over Belgium
England women’s under-23s made a winning end to the month with an impressive 4-1 victory over Belgium in Tranmere.

Goals from Missy-Bo Kearns, Angela Addison, Anna Patten and Kiera Skeels sealed a memorable night on Merseyside for Mo Marley’s team.

And while the scoreline may have been cruel on a Belgian team who had their moments, the Young Lionesses showed a clinical side in front of a 1300-strong crowd on a clear night at Prenton Park.

England started on the front foot, with the visitors having to make some last-ditch challenges in the opening 15 minutes.

It was no surprise when the Young Lionesses took the lead in the 16th minute, as Aggie Beever-Jones embarked on a darting run before playing through Kearns.

And the Liverpool ace brought the loudest cheer of the night, playing on her native Merseyside, as she made no mistake by slotting home to the left of ‘keeper Lisa Lichtfus.

Belgium began to play their way back into the game and started to show a threat going forward, which resulted in them drawing level in the 27th minute when Shari Van Belle picked out Marie Minnaert to fire past Kayle Rendell.
England celebrate Anna Patten's goal, which made it 3-1 at Prenton Park
England celebrate Anna Patten's goal, which made it 3-1 at Prenton Park
As half time approached, England came close to retaking the lead when Ruby Mace fizzed a shot narrowly wide of the post.

The second half belonged to England though, and less than ten minutes after the re-start they had restored their advantage.

Again, it was Beever-Jones at the heart of the move as she skilfully advanced past two players before setting Angela Addison through on goal and the Charlton forward made no mistake by lifting the ball over Lichtfus and into the net.

And it was 3-1 just before the hour mark as a short corner routine saw Poppy Pattinson try her luck with a shot at goal through a crowded box. Lichtfus palmed away her effort, but only back out to Patten who finished from close range.

Belgium were still causing problems for England’s rearguard and Rendell, who had impressed with her handling throughout, saved well to deny Lisa Petry in front of former England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis who was among the crowd at Prenton Park.

There was still time for Kearns to see a shot cannon back off the crossbar in the 87th minute, before the evening was rounded off in the last minute when Skeels nodded home Pattinson’s free-kick from the right to seal a memorable end to the month for Marley and her squad.

England: 13 Kayla Rendell (Southampton), 2 Jorja Fox (Brighton & Hove Albion, on loan from Chelsea), 3 Poppy Pattinson (Brighton & Hove Albion), 4 Ruby Mace (Leicester City, on loan from Manchester City), 6 Anna Patten (Aston Villa, on loan from Arsenal) (c), 7 Angela Addison (Charlton Athletic), 8 Missy Bo Kearns (Liverpool), 9 Emma Harries (Reading), 10 Laura Blindkilde Brown (Aston Villa), 11 Aggie Beever-Jones (Everton on loan from Chelsea), 16 Kiera Skeels (Charlton Athletic)

Substitutes: 18 Molly Pike (Leicester City) for Harries 60, 14 Mel Filis (West Ham United) for Mace 71

Substitutes not used: 1 Lucy Thomas (Birmingham City), 5 Mia Ross (Charlton Athletic), 12 Anouk Denton (West Ham United), 17 Asmita Ale (Tottenham Hotspur), 19 Tara Bourne (Birmingham City, on loan from Manchester United), 20 Ruby Grant (University of North Carolina), 23 Eleanor Dale (University of Nebraska), 24 Ella Morris (Southampton), 25 Paige Peake (Southampton)

Head coach: Mo Marley

Goals: Missy-Bo Kearns 16, Angela Addison 53, Anna Patten 59, Kiera Skeels 90