Report: England WU23s 3-0 Belgium
Goals from Aggie Beever-Jones, Kiera Skeels and Ella Morris help England women's under-23s to victory at Shrewsbury Town
More than 2,500 people watched England women’s under-23s record a dominant 3-0 win over Belgium at Shrewsbury Town’s New Meadow.
The Young Lionesses had kicked off the new under-23 competition with a 1-1 draw away to Norway on Thursday evening.
Aggie Beever-Jones had scored the WU23s’ goal that night and it was the Chelsea striker who had the first chance of the game in Shrewsbury, as Belgium goalkeeper Femke Bastiaen produced a fine stop.
Jess Naz was next to go close as she did well to lose two defenders on the right wing before forcing another save.
England took the lead midway through the first half and it was Beever-Jones who scored it again as she closed down the Belgian goalkeeper, whose clearance ricocheted off the youngster and into the net.
It was a rare blip for Bastiaen during the first half as she produced another great save to deny Naz’s low drive across the goal, following Grace Clinton’s pass.
England were dominant and Bastiaen needed to make a double save to deny Ella Morris to keep the score down to 1-0 at the break.
Beever-Jones thought she had her second goal of the night when she headed into the back of the net on 47 minutes but the referee gave a foul.
Captain Missy Bo Kearns was next to try her luck from outside the area but Bastiaen produced yet another save low down in the corner.
England had to wait until the final 20 minutes to extend their lead and Kearns was involved once more as it was her corner which was headed in by Kiera Skeels.
And the scoring was rounded off in impressive fashion with eight minutes remaining as Ruby Mace played an incredible ball over the top of the Belgium defence and Ella Morris volleyed expertly into the bottom left corner.
Next up for new England WU23 boss Emma Coates and her side will be an away match with Italy on Thursday 26 October.
England: 1 Lucy Thomas (Birmingham City), 2 Ella Morris (Southampton), 3 Poppy Pattinson (Brighton & Hove Albion), 4 Ruby Mace (Manchester City), 5 Mia Ross (Charlton Athletic), 6 Kiera Skeels (Charlton Athletic), 7 Jessica Naz (Tottenham Hotspur), 8 Missy Bo Kearns (Liverpool) (c), 9 Aggie Beever-Jones (Chelsea), 10 Laura Blindkilde Brown (Aston Villa), 11 Grace Clinton (Tottenham Hotspur, on loan from Manchester United)
Substitutes: 19 Asmita Ale (Tottenham Hotspur) for Naz 62, 17 Melisa Filis (West Ham) for Clinton 73, 14 Ruby Grant (BK Hacken) for Kearns 83, 15 Emma Harries (West Ham) for Blindkilde Brown 83
Substitutes not used: 13 Fran Bentley (Bristol City), 12 Molly Pike (Southampton), 16 Anouk Denton (West Ham), 18 Freya Gregory (Aston Villa), 20 Missy Goodwin (Leicester City), 21 Tara Bourne (Sheffield United), 22 Khiara Keating (Manchester City), 23 Naomi Layzell (Bristol City)
Head coach: Emma Coates
Goals: Aggie Beever-Jones 24, Kiera Skeels 72, Ella Morris 82
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