U21 Women's squad play three test matches in Lille

Hannah Martin, England U21 v Spain, July 27 2013, by Frank Uijlenbroek - 450

Between 18-21 April England's U21 women travelled out to the CREPS centre in Lille for three test matches against France.

Over the Easter weekend England women's U21 squad tested their skills against the French side at Lille's high-performance sporting centre, the CREPS. You can read more about each match below, and squad information can be found at the bottom of the page.

Match 1: England 8-0 France

England got off to a flying start in their first match of the Easter weekend, with six players all finding the net over the course of the game. Straight out of the gate, the team shot up the field and Laura Bevan was able to score within the first two minutes of play. The girls kept up the pace with Rebekah Walker scoring around ten minutes later, and while the French side were able to hold off the onslaught for a while after, once Lucy Wood made her presence felt the game was all but over. A hat-trick, with all three goals within three minutes of each other left the game 5-0 to England going into the break. The second half continued much like the first, as Mollie Rawnsley scored a penalty corner two minutes in. Two more goals from Hannah Martin and Kitty McWhirter sealed the deal for England as the first game ended 8-0.

Match 2: England 0-1 France

In quite a change of pace from Friday, it was France who took the early lead and were able to hold onto it for the rest of the match. Scoring the only goal of the game before the break, France's defence was unbeatable as England kept pushing for the leveler. Despite several penalty corners from either side, they were all either sent wide or saved as the teams got frantic hoping to get another goal on the board, and England was unable to bring the score back, giving France a 0-1 win and leaving it all to play for in the final game to see who would walk away with the most wins.

Match 3: England 4-1 France

After Saturday's performance, England were eager to prove that they could recapture their brilliance from the first match. It took them a while to find their feet, with the first goal coming after 20 minutes of play courtesy of Hannah Martin, once again making her way round the keeper to score from open play. She was joined in the first half by Holly Hunt, who scored her first of the series ten minutes later leaving the score 2-0 going into the break. France brought the score back shortly into the second half, but not to be deterred England fired two more home in the last 15 minutes with Kitty McWhirter's and Eliza Brett both scoring penalty corners within two minutes of each other. Despite a spirited effort from France to try and bring the game back, the final whistle went with the scores sitting at 4-1.

After the three games, England U21s Head Coach Kevin Johnson had this to say, “I was pleased overall with the positive progress made both on and off the pitch with the group, as we began our preparations for the Euros this Summer. Despite the blip in both result and performance quality in the second game, the squad applied themselves well over the duration of the series and made clear gains in key objectives set”.

U21 Test match squad

Laura Bevan
Eliza Brett
Lydia Clissitt
Lucie Daman
Emily Defroand
Lizzie Gittens
Kate Holmes
Holly Hunt
Saskia Janzen
Kathryn Lane
Kim Leiper
Pippa Lewis
Hannah Martin
Kitty McWhirter
Livy Paige
Mollie Rawnsley
Helen Reeves
Ellie Tait
Amy Tennant
Emma Trunks
Rebecca Van Berkel
Rebekah Walker
Alice Wills
Lucy Wood