Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway each scored a brace as England maintained their 100% start to World Cup qualifying with a 5-0 victory over Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
England saw two wasted chances in the first half, before unleashing their ruthless side in the second half to come up with comfortable winners.
Both Ellen White and Beth Mead should have opened the scoring within the first 20 minutes, before Hemp finally broke the deadlock. The City winger began the move with a trademark driving run and ended it by fortuitously connecting Ella Toone’s delivery into the net.
Northern Ireland held off England for the rest of the first half with a flurry of last-minute defensive efforts, Sarah McFadden risking her body on several occasions, but the Lionesses moved up a notch in the second half, and the game was put past the hosts by the timestamp.
Lucy Bronze’s tenacious run and delivery was confidently converted by Toone, before Hemp added her second by latching onto Leah Williamson’s pass and confidently rounding Jackie Burns into the Northern Ireland goal.
Toone then became the provider of England’s fourth goal, showing big feet to work her way into the box, before selflessly squaring off Stanway. The Manchester City midfielder doubled her tally for the night with a half volley with 11 minutes remaining.
Jackie Burns (GK) – 5/10 – He produced a decent save to keep Mead out in the first half. He gifted England with possession in the build-up to the visitors’ opener with a lopsided clearance; otherwise he was brave with the ball at his feet as Northern Ireland persevered playing from behind.
Abbie Magee (RB) – 5/10 – Struggled with Hemp in the first half, with most of England’s chances coming down the Northern Ireland left.
Julie Nelson (CB) – 7/10 – He doubled up on Magee in an attempt to keep Hemp quiet, popping up with a couple of big blocks.
Sarah McFadden (CB) – 8/10 – He made an impressive goal-line clearance and a pair of great tackles to deny Mead and White in the first half, typifying Northern Ireland’s defensive effort.
Kelsie Burrows (CB) – 6/10 – A tenacious defensive display. Replaced with 15 minutes remaining.
Demi Vance (LB) – 5/10 – He had a really competitive battle against Bronze, he really put up a fight against the lively Hemp in the second half.
Marissa Callaghan (CM) – 6/10 – Tireless and committed, but like all of Northern Ireland’s midfield, he struggled to service the two forwards.
Joely Andrews (CM) – 6/10 – Making his first senior international start, he created Northern Ireland’s first start with an explosive run and pass.
Rachel Furness (CM) – 7/10 – Always available and incredibly cool in her own half. Replaced in the second half.
Simone Magill (ST) – 5/10 – He held the ball well at times but largely left it for scraps as Northern Ireland spent much of the game camped out in their own half.
Lauren Wade (ST) – 5/10 – Produced Northern Ireland’s first shot on goal with a decent shot from the edge of the box, which was saved by the Earps. Replaced in the second half.
Chloe McCarron – 5/10
Kirsty McGuinness- 5/10
Rebecca McKenna – 5/10
Nadene Caldwell – 5/10
Mary Earps (GK) – 6/10 – Smooth in the first half before springing into action in the second with a low save to put Wade out.
Lucy Bronze (RB) – 7/10 – Set up England’s second with a tenacious run and low cross. She gave up the ball on occasion, but was always quick to retrieve it.
Leah Williamson (CB) – 7/10 – Set up England’s third with a great run and an even better pass to split the Northern Ireland backline and feed Hemp.
Millie Bright (CB) – 7/10 – Cleaned back on several occasions, nullifying any Northern Ireland half-chance.
Jess Carter (LB) – 6/10 – Combined well with Hemp in the first half, with England’s biggest threat down the left. He calmer in the second half, before being replaced shortly after the hour mark.
Keira Walsh (CM) – 6/10 – Calm and tidy in possession, largely doing the simple things as usual very well, not really getting a chance to show off his passing range.
Georgia Stanway (CM) – 8/10 – Produced an explosive run from midfield and a spectacular delivery that White should have done better. Those runs became more frequent in the second half, and he added England’s fourth and fifth goals with a pair of sure finishes.
Ella Toone (CM) – 9/10 – Involved in three of England’s goals, combining with Hemp to set up the Lionesses’ opener, quietly scoring England’s second and showing fantastic feet and a selfless pick for the fourth of her team.
Beth Mead (RW) – 6/10 – He should have opened the scoring from point-blank range in the first half, but saw his effort blocked down the line. One of his quieter performances against a determined Northern Ireland backline.
Ellen White (ST) – 5/10 – Should have opened the scoring in the first five minutes, but her header just missed. He saw another couple of half chances blocked and deflected, before being replaced after 65 minutes.
Lauren Hemp (LW) – 9/10 – Teed Mead with a clever cut early in the first half. She started and finished England’s opening goal play with a trademark change of pace and looping finish. He switched to the right in the second half, showing great composure to go around Burns and score.
Beth England – 6/10
Rachel Daly – 7/10
Nikita Parris – 6/10