England vs Northern Ireland, Women’s World Cup qualifier: live score and latest updates

, England vs Northern Ireland, Women’s World Cup qualifier: live score and latest updates, The Evepost BBC News

England 4 Northern Ireland 0

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6:57PM

83 mins England 4 Northern Ireland 0

White is still plugging away trying to get on the scoresheet. It’s all about Mead right now though who has become the first woman to score a hat-trick for England at Wembley. It’s a special, special night for the Arsenal forward.

6:56PM

80 mins England 4 Northern Ireland 0

After the first-half drought, it has been raining goals at Wembley. In amongst all that Staniforth and Wubbon-Moy came on for Kirby and Greenwood for England. And a little earlier Watling and McDaniel replaced Burrows and Furness for the visitors.

6:53PM

78 mins England 4 Northern Ireland 0

Floodgates well and truly opened now. Mead, fresh from the bench, completes a 14-minute hat-trick, rolling in from close range after Burns parried.

6:51PM

GOAL! Mead hat-trick

England 4 (Mead 78 mins) Northern Ireland 0

6:51PM

74 mins England 3 Northern Ireland 0

No doubt about this one, even if it is a near carbon copy.

Hemp does the grunt work on the left and once again sends over an inviting cross. Mead is the one to this time take advantage, executing a superb volley to make it 3-0 England. 

Talk about super subs. Two for Mead and one for England since they came on 10 minutes ago.

6:49PM

Goal! 

England 3 (Mead 74 mins) Northern Ireland 0

6:48PM

72 mins England 2 Northern Ireland 0

It’s a second goal for England… although it might take a moment to decide who gets their name officially next to it between Hemp or substitute England.

Kirby plays the ball out to the left to Hemp, who looks like she has gone for the cross. But when Burns can only flap, the ball heads towards goal with England making sure on the goalline. 

6:45PM

GOAL! 

England 2 (England 72 mins) Northern Ireland 0

6:45PM

70 mins England 1 Northern Ireland 0

Twenty minutes left in this one. England are looking to turn the screw and add to their goal tally but Ellen White’s touch lets her down as she scampers into the box.

6:42PM

‘Lift-off at last’

Women’s football reporter Tom Garry, from Wembley

England have lift-off at last and Beth Mead will be on cloud nine. That’s a first touch she’ll never forget. It’s the perfect, immediate impact off the bench. There was nothing Jacqueline Burns could do about that finish.

6:41PM

64 mins England 1 Northern Ireland 0

Northern Ireland immediately respond to that setback by introducing Kirsty McGuinness for Hamilton to bring some fresh legs in attack.

6:40PM

63 mins England 1 Northern Ireland 0

What an impact from Beth Mead! She’s been on the pitch a matter of mere seconds but she’s got the crucial breakthrough England have been looking for.

Burns tipped the initial corner away but it was recycled back into the box where Mead, on the turn, hooked it it high into the net from close range.  

6:38PM

GOAL! 

England 1 (Mead 63 mins) Northern Ireland 0

6:38PM

62 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

SAVE! Best of the lot so far from Burns!  Her outstretched right leg brings an end to an industrious run and shot from Hemp on the left hand side. 

Changes from England ahead of this corner…

Mead on for Daly and England on for Parris.

6:35PM

60 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Greenwood plays it low across the box, sparking a mad scramble but once more Northern Ireland clear.

6:34PM

60 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

As has been the case for most of the night, the green shirts of Northern Ireland are camped inside their own half. But they’re soaking up the pressure so far, with Burns coming out to claim the ball after Kirby tries her luck.

Burrows takes one for the team, stopping Parris in her tracks on the right outside the box, and earning a yellow card for her troubles. 

Free-kick England….

6:32PM

56 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Wade watches Parris closely on the near side, before timing her block on the Arsenal forward brilliantly to concede a corner. Just one example of Northern Irish grit tonght. 

Centre back McFadden gets some quick treatment before running back on. 

Mead and England warming up for England.

6:28PM

53 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

White shirts flooding forward but once again a green combo stops the latest wave of attack. It looks like Williamson has not dropped back completely into defence, more sitting just in front in a sign of attacking intent from England.

Daly with another inviting cross in from the right. Burns hesitates momentarily but there is no England player able to pounce.

6:24PM

48 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Cat almost among the pigeons. Wade gets a rare chance to stretch her legs down the left in attack as Northern Ireland go on the counter attack. She slides the ball across to the back post but Hamilton is just unable to reach it and get any power on it.

6:21PM

45 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

We’re back underway. England chasing the breakthrough, and Northern Ireland aiming to hold on.

Sarina Wiegman has rolled the dice early, taking off Demi Stokes and bringing on Keira Walsh. That ought to mean Williamson dropping back into defence and Walsh having a go at the visitors’ defence.

6:14PM

The numbers game

80 per cent possession for England to Northern Ireland’s 20 per cent

17 shots for England to Northern Ireland’s 0

8 corners for England to Northern Ireland’s 0

But it remains goalless (probably not helped by just 3/17 shots on target for England)

, England vs Northern Ireland, Women’s World Cup qualifier: live score and latest updates, The Evepost BBC News

Lauren Hemp hit the bar early on

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6:10PM

No inches given

, England vs Northern Ireland, Women’s World Cup qualifier: live score and latest updates, The Evepost BBC News

Forward Marissa Callaghan leads from the front with her tracking back

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, England vs Northern Ireland, Women’s World Cup qualifier: live score and latest updates, The Evepost BBC News

Jacqueline Burns gets in ahead of Ellen White 

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6:05PM

HT England 0 Northern Ireland 0

England’s players will head into the dressing room wondering how they are not ahead in this World Cup qualifier. 

Hemp and Greenwood both hit the woodwork, captain Williamson had a handful of openers and White was always lurking but Northern Ireland’s defence has been industrious and committed, if a little lucky at times. But you make your own luck and Northern Ireland deserve to be level. It’s certainly not short on entertainment at Wembley.

Women’s football reporter Tom Garry, from Wembley

England are playing some very good football but they’ve also been pretty wasteful in front of goal. They’ll need to be a lot more clinical than this when they face Austria next month.

6:01PM

44 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Forward Callaghan doing her defensive duties by tracking back and tackling Daly. It’s a full-blooded tackle on the far side which leaves Daly crumpled in a heap but referee Ivana Martincic deems it a fair one.

5:57PM

40 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

We’re back underway and Burns, fresh from a stretch and treatment, is fit to continue for now. Can England get their breakthrough before half-time?

5:56PM

Credit to Northern Ireland

While we have a pause in play for treatment, here’s women’s football reporter Tom Garry, from Wembley

It’s no exaggeration to say that England could be 4-0 up, but at the same time, you have to credit the defensive effort from this well-drilled Northern Ireland side, many of whom have day jobs away from football. They’re battling valiantly. You sense though that, once England get their first goal, the floodgates might open.

5:54PM

39 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

This could be bad news for Northern Ireland as play is stopped for keeper Burns to receive treatment. It looks like her leg. 

A couple of dodgy distributions aside, she’s made some crucial saves to keep the scores level.

5:52PM

36 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

CHANCE! How did that not go in?? It’s a lung-busting run down the right channel from Daly, she reaches the byline and chips in an inviting cross. White beats two Northern Ireland defenders to the ball, pretty much on the goalline, but can only guide her header wide. 

5:50PM

35 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Toone is afforded the freedom of Wembley pretty much on the edge of the box. But rather than shoot she tries to play in her team-mate, but Hamilton is not buying the disguised pass and intercepts.

5:49PM

HITS THE WOODWORK! 

Wave after wave of white England attacks. This time they try their luck from distance and Greenwood’s rasping effort smacks back off the bar.

5:47PM

30 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Chance England! And once more it’s Williamson, who could easily have had a hat-trick in the first half-hour.

Greenwood whips in a cross from the left after yet another corner is cleared, and Williamson makes a clever run towards the near post where her flicked header lands the wrong side of the far post.

5:44PM

28 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

SAVE! Burns has somehow managed to keep this game goalless. England win (another) corner, once again it goes towards Williamson who directs her header goalwards. It is straight at Burns but she still reacts quickest to block and then gobbles up the rebound ahead of the lurking White.

5:42PM

26 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

A dream night almost got even better there for Williamson, as the England captain lined up a shot from just outside the box. Fortunately for Northern Ireland, it flew over the bar. 

5:40PM

Ireland fans in full voice

Women’s football reporter Tom Garry, from Wembley

We’ve got something here tonight that is a relatively rare occurrence in international women’s football: A block of seats dedicated solely to away supporters. The Northern Ireland fans up there, all in green, are adding plenty of colour and noise to this occasion, packed together in the corner above the area where England’s Lauren Hemp is attacking in this first half. They’re all dancing, bouncing up and down and singing.

, England vs Northern Ireland, Women’s World Cup qualifier: live score and latest updates, The Evepost BBC News

The England fans’ band are here too, adding to the atmosphere, which lifted up another notch after that Hemp strike smacked off the underside of the bar.

5:39PM

22 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Northern Ireland are determined to keep playing out for the back, especially from goal-kicks, but you have to question the merit of doing so. Once again, White almost nips in when Burns fails to find her intended target. Sometimes a big hoof upfield might do the trick. 

, England vs Northern Ireland, Women’s World Cup qualifier: live score and latest updates, The Evepost BBC News

Northern Ireland keeper Jacqueline Burns thwarts Ellen White again 

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5:35PM

18 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

I‘m not sure if Burns took a bang to the head at the same time but she’s just directed her goalkick straight to White in front of goal. 

The England forward senses her moment but Northern Ireland just about scramble clear. Williamson heads over from the resulting corner. 

5:33PM

17 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Fantastic hustling from Kirby on the right-hand side wins England another corner.

It’s floated in again, Williamson gets her heaad to it first and directs it goalwards.

Ouch! Committed as ever, White tries to get a touch but ends up colliding both with Burns and the post.

5:30PM

HITS THE WOODWORK! 

England could not have come much closer to breaking the deadlock. A dribbling Hemp cuts in from the left flank, races into the box and only has one thing on her mind.

Her left-footed shot is fierce and beats keeper Burns but thwacks the bar and cannons back out. 

5:28PM

13 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Over 80 per cent possession for England paints a picture of this match so far. But credit to Northern Ireland, they’ve not conceded any clear cut chances.

Saying that, it will only be a matter of time if the visitors keeping handing back possession on a plate.

5:25PM

9 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

England probing away, as Kirby and Daly link up well on the right side. 

On the opposite flank Hemp and Northern Ireland defender McKenna are already lining up for a battle royale tonight.

5:23PM

6 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Crucial interception from McKenna in the Northern Ireland defence as England ping the ball around at speed. It’s been a frantic start all around.

5:21PM

4 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Stokes needs to be more assertive there. For the second time in quick succession the Manchester City defender is caught in two minds and Furness almost muscles in. If she’d controlled that,  she would have had a clear run in on goal with most of the England team up for the previous corner.

5:19PM

3 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

Parris looks to get onto a long ball through the middle but can’t quite control it. Then quickly it’s Hemp running at the Northern Ireland defence down the left channel.

The visitors struggling to clear their lines as they face the first corner of the match. Greenwood swings it in but it’s cleared.

5:17PM

1 mins England 0 Northern Ireland 0

We’re underway at Wembley, a first competitive match for England women since the national stadium reopened.

5:15PM

Statement of solidarity

After just the one anthem – God Save the Queen- is sung in unison by both teams, the players link arms in support of those who’ve spoken out about harassment in the NWSL, Australia and Venezuela.

5:11PM

Players in the tunnel

Almost time to get on with the pre-match formalities, fist pumps and anthem.

Sure to be a proud moment for many, including the Williamson family

4:55PM

Crowd watch

Latest from Tom Garry, at Wembley

We’re expecting around 30,000 fans to attend today, all of whom are situated in the bottom tier at Wembley, so the lower blocks will be fairly full come kick-off.

It’s nothing like the 77,768 who packed into here two years ago for the visit of Germany, a few months after the 2019 World Cup, but perhaps the pandemic is playing its part in that downgrade in attendance.

4:44PM

History beckons for Ellen White

Ellen White netted a hat-trick when these two sides met in February, writes Tom Garry. If she can repeat that today, she would equal Kelly Smith’s all-time goals record for England Women of 46 senior international goals. White’s been given a chance to make history today, starting up front, and she will be relishing this opportunity at Wembley

4:40PM

‘Significant statement from Wiegman’

Telegraph’s women’s football reporter Tom Garry is at Wembley today reporting on the action.  He gives his take on Wiegman’s team selection, plus a big day for several reasons for Williamson.

It’s a significant statement from Sarina Wiegman to name an unchanged team from the XI which started in September’s 10-0 win in Luxembourg, as the make-up of her new England team really starts to take shape.

The decision to continue with Leah Williamson in a deep-lying midfielder role – which is where she played for both of September’s qualifiers – rather than the centre-back role she frequents for Arsenal is particularly fascinating, and there’s a feeling among the press pack that Williamson may well make that position her own, edging out Keira Walsh.

4:38PM

Captain’s thoughts

Here’s England skipper Leah Williamson ahead of kick-off

It’s the biggest day I’ve had in football. It’s a great day for me and my family. It’s my proudest moment for me in a football shirt. I’ve got a whole herd of family up there in the stands.

It’s going to be a tougher game, there is a bit more to it emotionally, especially for them. They play nice football, we’ll have to be on it for sure. 

4:36PM

Welcome to Wembley

Sarina Wiegman has won her opening two games as England manager, with her team scoring 18 and conceding none in the process. But she expects a tougher task against an in-form Northern Ireland.

It promises to be a magnificent occasion for both teams,  with their being England’s first competitive match since Wembley reopened.

, England vs Northern Ireland, Women’s World Cup qualifier: live score and latest updates, The Evepost BBC News

Leah Williamson, Georgia Stanway and Ella Toone take in their surroundings ahead of England’s first competitive game at the new Wembley 

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, England vs Northern Ireland, Women’s World Cup qualifier: live score and latest updates, The Evepost BBC News

England expects

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4:28PM

Kenny Shiels: ‘We’re not afraid of anybody’

Despite being ranked 40 places below the Lionesses, manager Kenny Shiels believes his side, who secured historic qualification for Euro 2022 and are on an eight-game competitive winning run, can beat England.

“We’re the only team in Europe that has won six competitive games this calendar year. We’re in a good place.

“We’re not afraid of anybody. Whoever comes along we will be very sporting and will try and beat them.

“We have to make sure we don’t play the facilities or the fantastic arena that we are playing in.

“We will do our best to simplify it. Whatever club they play for, we respect that, but will do our best to compete in an 11 v 11 environment.”

4:25PM

Skipper Williamson ‘doing a very good job’

Leah Williamson, 24, wore the armband for the first time in last month’s thumping 8-0 and 10-0 wins over North Macedonia and Luxembourg in the absence of the injured Steph Houghton.

But new head coach Sarina Wiegman says she is “not close yet” to deciding her permanent captain, adding: “We haven’t had Steph [Houghton] and Lucy Bronze and the other ones [fit yet], so we’ll take a little time, and when everyone is fit, performs well and comes into the squad, I can see what’s best for the team, but for now, Leah is doing a very good job.”

, England vs Northern Ireland, Women’s World Cup qualifier: live score and latest updates, The Evepost BBC News

Captaincy duty awaits Williamson at Wembley 

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4:20PM

Northern Ireland team

4:19PM

England team

4:13PM

Wembley history for England women

England welcome Northern Ireland to Wembley Stadium this afternoon for their World Cup qualifier in what is a historic fixture for the Lionesses.

Today will be the first time that England women have played a competitive fixture at the national stadium since it reopened in 2007, having only played in friendly matches against Germany in 2009 and 2014.

Saturday’s meeting is set to be a test for both teams with each having got their qualifying campaigns off to convincing starts – their four matches producing a combined 26-0 scoreline.

England top the group after thrashing North Macedonia 8-0 and knocking 10 past Luxembourg, while Northern Ireland are third behind Austria – who also have six points – after beating both Luxembourg and Latvia 4-0.

England are missing key players including Lucy Bronze and Steph Houghton and the Northern Ireland clash could provide opportunities for others to not only impress new head coach Sarina Wiegman, but give her a selection headache going forward.

Manchester United duo Katie Zelem and Alessia Russo have been recalled to the England squad, while Aston Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton could get a chance between the sticks in place of the injured Ellie Roebuck.

Arsenal’s Leah Williamson will captain England again, having skippered the team in September amid the absence of injured long-standing captainHoughton, but Wiegman says she is “not close yet” to deciding her permanent captain 

As for Northern Ireland, they will also be without key personnel with defender Rebecca Holloway and forward Simone Magill absent.

Holloway, who plays for Birmingham, is out with injury while Everton’s Magill withdrew from the squad following a family bereavement.

Rachel McLaren, 19, has been called up to the squad to replace Holloway, and the Crusaders Strikers player can provide options in defence and midfield for Shiels.

These two sides met in February, prior to the World Cup qualification draw, with England running out 6-0 winners at St George’s Park.