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Published 10 March 2024 4 min read
Women's U17

Report: Serbia 0-3 England WU17s

Written by:

Frank Smith

Young Lionesses impress in the opening match of the elite round of qualifying for UEFA Women's U17 EURO

England women’s under-17s kicked off the final round of qualifying for the 2024 UEFA Women’s U17 EURO with a 3-0 win over Serbia.

The Young Lionesses faced the hosts on Sunday afternoon in the first of three games in their mini-qualifying group, with matches against Greece on Wednesday (10am GMT) and Italy on Saturday (12pm GMT) still to come.

Natalie Henderson’s side will have to finish top of their group if they want to qualify for the eight-team 2024 UEFA Women’s U17 EURO finals in Sweden this summer.

England dominated from the off and Vera Jones shot wide, following good work by Lola Brown, from as early as the sixth minute.

Jones was at the heart of much of England’s play in the opening quarter, forcing the impressive Lana Milinic into a couple of saves, as Erica Parkinson also flashed an effort across goal.

The Young Lionesses went agonisingly close to opening the scoring on 18 minutes when an excellent low cross from Mia Endacott found Denny Draper inside the six-yard box but Milinic again saved, this time from point-blank range.

England continued to attack but were thwarted by the proactive Milinic on each occasion and looked set to go into the break level.

England WU17s' starting line-up against Serbia
England WU17s' starting line-up against Serbia

However, another run from deep by Jones – which had been a theme of the half – four minutes before the interval saw her latch on to a through-ball by Draper, and the Barry Town midfielder tapped in after rounding the goalkeeper for a deserved opening goal.

Serbia started the second half well and applied some pressure on the Young Lionesses, without really troubling Hope McSheffrey’s goal.

England soon regained dominance though and the second goal arrived in the final ten minutes when more great wing play from Brown saw the Chelsea youngster send in a dangerous cross which was headed in by Leicester City striker Draper.

The victory was then rounded off in injury-time when good strength and quick feet from Parkinson saw her brought down in the penalty area, and Brown confidently converted the spot-kick.

England: 1 Hope McSheffrey (Arsenal), 2 Nelly Las (Leicester City), 3 Rachel Maltby (Aston Villa), 4 Laila Harbert (Arsenal/Watford) ©, 5 Simone Sherwood (Leicester City), 6 Cecily Wellesley-Smith (Oxford United), 7 Erica Parkinson (FC Valadares), 9 Denny Draper (Leicester City), 10 Vera Jones (Barry Town), 11 Lola Brown (Chelsea), 18 Mia Endacott (Plymouth Argyle)

Substitutes: 8 Omotara Junaid (Arsenal) for Maltby 45, 12 Sophie Harrison (Arsenal) for Endacott 63, 19 Isabella Fisher (Arsenal) for Draper 88

Substitutes not used: 13 Rebekah Dowsett (Watford/Leicester City), 14 Emily Cassap (Sunderland), 15 Niamh Peacock (Arsenal), 16 Abby Kay (Chelsea), 17 Eva Gray (Arsenal), 20 Eva Hendle (Chelsea)

Head coach: Natalie Henderson

Goals: Vera Jones 41, Denny Draper 81, Lola Brown 90+1

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10 Mar 2024 2:00:00

Full match: Serbia v England WU17s

Watch as the two sides get their elite round qualification campaign underway