England secured their position at the top of their Euro 2017 qualifying Group at Meadow Lane tonight with a 5-0 win over Estonia.
There was a second hat-trick for Danielle Carter on just her second appearance for the Lionesses, [although she was perhaps lucky that the first goal was given after a clear ricochet against her arm]. It took just 9 minutes for Carter to make the breakthrough, as England showed their intention to attack from kick off.
Minutes later Jill Scott added to the tally when she was on hand to nod a rebound into the net.
With barely a quarter gone Carter had her second and England were 3-0 ahead, as Estonia struggled to cope with England’s passing and movement.
For the rest of the half Estonia camped out in their own half trying to nullify England’s goal-scoring threat, a tactic that did keep England at bay until well into the second half, although the game was already won, Estonia obviously keen to keep the goal score down whilst lacking the fire power to damage England.
It seemed just a matter of time before the Lionesses would penetrate the defence and score again, and they spurned several good chances. Carter put the game beyond doubt when the keeper could only parry a shot into her path and she was able to slot the ball into the corner.
England continued pressing and their effort was rewarded when they were awarded an injury time penalty which was ably knocked home by Karen Carney.
The Lionesses wore black armbands to mark the recent passing of Sylvia Gore and Zoe Tynan. They play Belgium on Tuesday and will hold onto top spot of Group 7 should they avoid defeat.
England (3-5-2): 1 Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool); 2 Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), 5 Steph Houghton (capt; Manchester City), 6 Jo Potter (Notts County); 7 Gemma Davison (Chelsea), 4 Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), 8 Jill Scott (Manchester City), 10 Karen Carney (Chelsea), 3 Demi Stokes (Manchester City); 9 Nikita Parris (Manchester City), 11 Danielle Carter (Arsenal).
Substitutes: 18 Rachel Daly (Houston Dash) for Parris 60, 16 Jade Moore (Notts County) for J Scott 62, 12 Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea) for Davison 74
Substitutes not used: 13 Rebecca Spencer (Chelsea), 14 Alex Scott (Arsenal), 15 Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), 17 Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City).
Goals: Carter 9, 17, 56, J Scott 13, Carney 90+4.
Head coach: Mark Sampson
Estonia (4-4-2): 1 Getter Laar; 19 Liis Lepik, 4 Pille Raadik, 15 Inna Zlidnis, 5 Ragne Hindrimae; 13 Kristina Bannikova, 8 Kaire Palmaru, 18 Kethy Ounpuu, 17 Eneli Vals, 7 Katrin Loo, 9 Signy Aarna.
Substitutes: 3 Aljona Sasova for Palmaru 57, 10 Vlada Kubassova for Bannikova 70, 11 Merily Toom for Vals 79
Substitutes not used: 22 Getriin Strigin, 14 Lisette Tammik, 16 Kelly Rosen, 20 Ketlin Saar.
Head coach: Keith Boanas