England enjoy comfortable win over Slovenia

By Tony LeightonWomen's football correspondent
Hope Powell
Powell is pleased with England's response on the pitch

Early goals by Arsenal's Rachel Yankey and Ellen White set England up for a comfortable 4-0 win against Slovenia in their Euro 2013 qualifiers.

Five days after a disappointing 2-2 away draw with Serbia, Hope Powell's team were too strong for opponents ranked 56 places below them at 62.

Yankey shot England ahead after just 53 seconds and White doubled the lead in the fifth minute.

Steph Houghton added a third before Rachel Williams completed the scoring.

"We could have scored a lot more but the important thing was we got three points, especially after the Serbia result," said England coach Hope Powell.

"The players were keen to show they are better than drawing with Serbia, and they showed vigour and energy throughout the match."

Yankey drilled a low cross-shot in off the far post following a well-worked short corner routine to give Powell's team a great start.

The lead was doubled when White rose to head home from midfielder Karen Carney's looping cross from the right.

Slovenia should have pulled a goal back 10 minutes later, but from 12 yards out midfielder Snezana Malesevic shot straight at keeper Karen Bardsley.

An even more glaring miss came at the other end when White's misdirected 10-yard effort was cleared by Lucija Grad, the only defender on the line with goalkeeper Lucija Mori way out of position.

Six minutes before half-time another golden opportunity went begging as right back Alex Scott under-hit a 12-yard shot and Mori saved easily.

The third goal finally arrived when Yankey crossed from the left for Houghton to dart between two defenders to head into the far corner.

Yankey then had a powerful angled drive headed off the line by right back Grad before setting up midfielder Fara Williams for a close-range shot that was saved on the line by Mori.

Rachel Williams, on as substitute for player of the match Yankey, hit her first England goal when she tapped home a short cross by winger Jess Clarke.

Victory put England a point ahead of the Netherlands at the top of Group 6, but the Dutch have a game in hand and trounced Serbia 6-0.

Powell said: "We play the Netherlands next and that's the big one. That will be a real challenge and we have to be ready for it."

England: Bardsley (Linkoping); A. Scott (Boston Breakers), Bradley (Lincoln) (Whelan (Everton) 76), Stoney (Lincoln), Unitt (Everton); Houghton (Arsenal), F. Williams (Everton); Clarke (Lincoln) (Buet (Chelsea) 90), Carney (Birmingham City), Yankey (Arsenal) (R. Williams (Birmingham City) 81); White (Arsenal).

Substitutes not used: Chamberlain (Bristol Academy), Bassett (Birmingham City), J. Scott (Everton), Susi (Birmingham City).

Slovenia: Mori; Grad, Spelic, Benak, Tibaut; Golob (Salkenic 57), Milenkovic, Malesevic, Zganec Spur 73); Zver, Vrabel (Levacic 80).

Substitutes not used: Cevnik, Jerina, Spur, Nezmah, Stipic.

Referee: Ms K. Radzik-Johan (Poland)