Winning start for England U16 Girls

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A powerful strike from Oxford Hawks’ Lucy Millington just before half time was enough for England Under-16 Girls to record a 1-0 victory over Belgium as they began their Five Nations Tournament campaign at Beeston HC on Tuesday.

The team worked hard to create a lot of possession in the middle of the pitch, and although they sometimes struggled to convert this into goals, their defence held firm and enabled them to seal the win.

“We didn’t create enough chances and we need to work on that,” said Head Coach Marc Bourhill. “But we won the ball well in the middle and defended superbly, so overall deserved the victory.

“Looking ahead to Wednesday’s match against Germany, Bourhill added: “They are an unknown quantity for us, but we know we need to create more chances in the D and maintain our good defence.”

England won a lot of ball through the first half, but they had to wait until the 34th minute before taking the lead, with Millington scoring with a hard strike after the initial strike had rebounded off the Belgian goalkeeper.

Their next match is against Germany at 12noon on Wednesday.

England Under-18 Girls

England Under-18 Girls battled back from behind to share the spoils with Belgium 1-1 in their opening match of the Five Nations Tournament at Beeston on Tuesday.

St Albans’ ace Meg Crowson scored the crucial goal which pulled England back level, but they just ran out of time in search of a winning goal.

“Overall the girls showed good character,” said Head Coach Andy Bradshaw. “To raise their game in the second half and come out fighting, and get a goal back to be in a position to win the game is great.

“We created enough opportunities to score more than one goal, and we will be working on that. It was a close contest throughout, but Germany should be a tougher game tomorrow so we will have to sharpen up.”

The Belgians took the lead from a 24th minute penalty corner, and England left it until seven minutes from the end before hitting back.

They are next in action on Wednesday afternoon (2pm) against Germany.