World Cup 2015 qualifier: England 2-0 Wales

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Highlights: England 2-0 Wales

Jordan Nobbs and Toni Duggan scored second-half goals as England beat Wales to continue their perfect start to their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Having thrashed Belarus and Turkey, England found Wales a sterner test, Karen Carney coming closest in the first half with a diving header.

The hosts improved after the break and Nobbs finished off a superb move before Duggan's stylish strike sealed it.

Wales rarely threatened but Loren Dykes headed straight at Karen Bardsley.

The visitors to Millwall's stadium were hardly helped by an injury to captain Jess Fishlock, who eventually left the field in the second half after injuring her wrist early on.

But in front of a crowd of 5,764, they certainly offered a far more serious examination than England had met in scoring 14 unanswered goals in their first two qualifiers of the campaign.

Jarmo Matikainen's Welsh side defended in numbers, while England's shortcomings in attack meant they were denied a first-half lead.

They finally broke Welsh resistance in the second half, however, to remain top of their group and record a third consecutive win for temporary coach Brent Hills, who will also be in charge of next Thursday's game in Turkey.

Most of the hosts' success came after probing down the right and, after Steph Houghton's free-kick was saved by Nicola Davies, a deflected cross bounced onto the Welsh goalkeeper's crossbar.

England almost took the lead before the break when Carney cleverly guided Eniola Aluko's cross towards goal but Davies saved.

However, Hills' side quickly made up for their lack of incisiveness in the first half with a wonderful goal three minutes after the interval.

Again it was made down the right. This time Aluko cut the ball back to Carney, who touched the ball to Alex Scott and her cross was clipped into the net by Nobbs for her second international goal.

Eleven minutes later, England doubled their lead - and it was another fine strike. Fara Williams chipped the ball through and when Sophie Ingle could only head away, Duggan took a touch and found the bottom corner with an assured finish for her seventh England goal.

Helen Ward almost clawed a goal back for Wales when she was put through on goal but she fired wide. Dykes then headed straight at England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley following a corner.

England saw out the game in relative ease, as Williams and Houghton went close, taking another step on the road to the 2015 finals in Canada.

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