Leah Williamson

Leah Williamson England’s hero with late winner

Leah Williamson was England’s hero on Tuesday evening as Phil Neville’s side ended their 2019 with a 3-2 Victory away to the Czech Republic in Ceske Budejovice.

In what was a poor overall performance from Neville’s side they found themselves behind after 15 minutes when Lucie Vonkova slipped in Katerina Svitkova who faced Arsenal in the Champions League with Slavia Prague and she fired the ball past the onrushing Carly Telford.

However two minutes later the Lionesses were level when Nikita Parris flicked the ball across goal for Beth England to volley into the roof of the net for her second goal for her country after finding the net against Brazil last month.

Beth Mead then put England’s three minutes later with a superb finish as she was picked out by Lucy Staniforth before she whipped her effort around Barbora Votikova in the Czech Republic goal and into the bottom corner of the net.

The lead was to be short lived when Czech Republic levelled the tie as Szewieczkova tried her luck from range before she saw her effort loop over Telford and into the net to the frustration of fans and players alike.

The second half certainly wasn’t a thriller by any stretch of the imagine but it was England who were very much the favourites pre-match who looked the most likely to regain the lead.

Mead then saw a goal chalked off as Jill Scott had committed a foul after she climbed on a defender to knock type ball down for the forward to finish before a couple of minutes later Mead was involved once again as she denied what looked like a stonewall penalty after being brought down.

However England did end the year with a win when Williamson turned into the hero as her deflected effort in the 86th minute from outside the box beat Votikova and sailed into the net for her first senior international goal.

“We got the win, that’s what I demanded,” Neville told BBC Sport.
“We should be beating Czech Republic by more than 3-2. We dominated the second half but we were careless in possession and with the final ball or cross.
“Now the hard work starts for after Christmas, getting back to the level they and I know we can achieve. I’m looking forward now to the hard work and getting back to the level I know we can.”

England team:

Telford, Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Stokes, Walsh, Parris, Scott, Staniforth, Mead, England
Subs used: Hemp for Parris 64′, Nobbs for Staniforth 76′, Daly for England 77′.

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