Women's International Friendlies
EnglandEngland6N Ireland WomNorthern Ireland0

England 6-0 Northern Ireland: Ellen White hat-trick in Hege Riise's first game

By Chris OsborneBBC Sport

Ellen White scored a hat-trick as England thrashed Northern Ireland in Hege Riise's first game as temporary Lionesses boss.

In a friendly played at England's St George's Park training base, Norwegian Riise, overseeing the Lionesses squad until Sarina Wiegman takes charge after the summer Olympics, saw her side overwhelm the visitors in blustery conditions.

White's superb treble, a Lucy Bronze tap-in, Rachel Daly's close-range finish and an Ella Toone penalty made for a resounding win in England's first game in almost 12 months and first since the departure of manager Phil Neville.

And midfielder Jill Scott put in a commanding performance to mark her 150th England appearance, becoming only the second women's player to reach that tally after Fara Williams.

Kenny Shiels' depleted Northern Ireland failed to register a shot of any description but will now focus on the more pressing task of qualification for next year's Euros, when they play in April's play-off.

They had Becky Flaherty to thank for keeping the scoreline down, with the Sheffield United keeper making a string of superb saves, but the result reflected the 43 places between the sides in the world rankings.

Riise gets her attacking desire

Brought in to the plug the gap between Neville and his successor Wiegman - who will take the reins after leading her native Netherlands at the Olympics - Riise had spoken of trying to bring attacking intent to this England team. They had stuttered to just three wins from Neville's final nine games in charge before a long period without matches as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

And the Norway legend got precisely what she asked for, with the Lionesses moving the ball quickly from the back to create a flurry of opportunities.

White was the main beneficiary, moving on to 39 international goals, first by capitalising after being gifted the ball by the Northern Irish defence, nodding in Bronze's cross and then finishing a pass from Scott, who was given the captain's armband on her landmark 150th cap.

Bronze, the Fifa Best Women's Player of 2020, had tapped in Lauren Hemp's low cross before half-time and later rolled the ball across for Daly to bundle in, before debutant Toone scored from the spot after Rachel Holloway brought down Chloe Kelly.

England, who were also able to bring on Sandy MacIver, Ebony Salmon and Lotte Wubben-Moy for debuts, have one more friendly, against Canada in April, before a Great Britain team will head to Japan for the Olympics, although the Football Association is yet to name who will manage the team in Tokyo.

Bigger games to come for Northern Ireland

Riise could well be on the coaching staff when it comes to selecting the Team GB squad, although few of the Northern Ireland team would have made a convincing argument for inclusion based on this game alone.

This result should not detract from the impressive progress Shiels' side have made, winning all four of their final group qualifiers at the end of last year to raise the prospect of reaching the European Championship.

Northern Ireland women will go to their first-ever major tournament if they can win April's two-legged play-off, against an as yet unknown opponent, but they will need a stronger performance and a more experienced squad to give themselves the best chance possible.

Northern Ireland arrived at St George's Park with a large swathe of their squad unavailable through injuries and work commitments, with sisters Kirsty and Caitlin McGuinness, first-choice keeper Jackie Burns and midfielder Demi Vance all missing out.

That meant there was a spot for 16-year-old Ella Haughey on the bench along with Holloway's first start at left-back and, while Burns' replacement Flaherty impressed between the sticks, the visitors hardly laid a glove on England, barely getting into the home side's half.

There were snippets of Shiels' continued desire to see his side play out from the back, but it frequently led to gifting the ball to England and ultimately led to a thumping defeat.

'We showed character' - what they said

England interim manager Hege Riise, speaking to BBC Sport: "Obviously [I'm pleased with] six goals, four players getting their first cap and that we pushed for 90 minutes and wanted more goals. We tried to find the pockets in between, run at them and I think we showed character.

"We probably could've scored more goals but the performance and energy that we put into the game was good."

On goalscorer Ellen White: "She's a leader and she always wants to score goals. She's always looking for runs into the box. Three goals and great goals."

Jill Scott, who won her 150th England cap, speaking to BBC Sport: "The game was really enjoyable. Really happy for Ella Toone and the other girls who made their debuts, so it's been a great day all round.

"Massive thanks to Steph [Houghton] for letting me have the captain's armband today. She's made so much effort to make sure it was a special day for me.

"I've been overwhelmed by all the messages, I was just trying to concentrate on the game but now I can finally relax. Everything I do is to just make my family proud but I don't think this has sunk in yet."

Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels: "There were some positives and some negatives. England are stronger and quicker than us and that was a big obstacle for us to overcome.

"We lost the toss and they had the wind in their favour. That took away our opportunity to get some confidence. They were all over us and we couldn't get up the pitch.

"When we had the wind in the second half, we have so many part-time players that we used up their energy. It was unfortunate but the result doesn't matter. We found out about each other and the understanding how how we want to play."

Player of the match

WhiteEllen White

with an average of 8.38


  1. Squad number9Player nameWhite
    Average rating


  2. Squad number8Player nameScott
    Average rating


  3. Squad number2Player nameBronze
    Average rating


  4. Squad number14Player nameToone
    Average rating


  5. Squad number10Player nameNobbs
    Average rating


  6. Squad number6Player nameWilliamson
    Average rating


  7. Squad number11Player nameHemp
    Average rating


  8. Squad number4Player nameStanway
    Average rating


  9. Squad number3Player nameGreenwood
    Average rating


  10. Squad number7Player nameDaly
    Average rating


  11. Squad number5Player nameHoughton
    Average rating


  12. Squad number17Player nameKelly
    Average rating


  13. Squad number15Player nameWubben-Moy
    Average rating


  14. Squad number19Player nameEngland
    Average rating


  15. Squad number13Player nameSandy MacIver
    Average rating


  16. Squad number20Player nameSalmon
    Average rating


  17. Squad number1Player nameRoebuck
    Average rating


Northern Ireland

  1. Squad number2Player nameBurrows
    Average rating


  2. Squad number22Player nameWatling
    Average rating


  3. Squad number3Player nameMcKenna
    Average rating


  4. Squad number18Player nameMcDaniel
    Average rating


  5. Squad number15Player nameKelly
    Average rating


  6. Squad number14Player nameFinnegan
    Average rating


  7. Squad number12Player nameFlaherty
    Average rating


  8. Squad number11Player nameWade
    Average rating


  9. Squad number17Player nameHolloway
    Average rating


  10. Squad number5Player nameNelson
    Average rating


  11. Squad number7Player nameMcCarron
    Average rating


  12. Squad number13Player nameMagee
    Average rating


  13. Squad number4Player nameRobson
    Average rating


  14. Squad number16Player nameCaldwell
    Average rating


  15. Squad number9Player nameMagill
    Average rating


  16. Squad number8Player nameCallaghan
    Average rating


  17. Squad number10Player nameFurness
    Average rating




Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1RoebuckSubstituted forMacIverat 61'minutes
  • 2Bronze
  • 5Houghton
  • 6WilliamsonSubstituted forWubben-Moyat 75'minutes
  • 3Greenwood
  • 8Scott
  • 4Stanway
  • 7DalySubstituted forSalmonat 84'minutes
  • 10NobbsSubstituted forTooneat 45'minutes
  • 11HempSubstituted forKellyat 61'minutes
  • 9WhiteSubstituted forEnglandat 76'minutes


  • 13MacIver
  • 14Toone
  • 15Wubben-Moy
  • 16Turner
  • 17Kelly
  • 18Mead
  • 19England
  • 20Salmon
  • 21Hampton

N Ireland Wom

Formation 4-4-2

  • 12Flaherty
  • 13Magee
  • 5Nelson
  • 4RobsonSubstituted forKellyat 84'minutes
  • 17HollowaySubstituted forFinneganat 83'minutes
  • 11WadeSubstituted forMcDanielat 73'minutes
  • 7McCarronSubstituted forMcKennaat 57'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 16CaldwellSubstituted forBurrowsat 84'minutes
  • 8CallaghanSubstituted forWatlingat 58'minutes
  • 10Furness
  • 9Magill


  • 2Burrows
  • 3McKenna
  • 6Hutton
  • 14Finnegan
  • 15Kelly
  • 18McDaniel
  • 19Wilson
  • 20Howe
  • 21Haughey
  • 22Watling
  • 23Harvey-Clifford
Lorraine Watson

Match Stats

Home TeamEnglandAway TeamN Ireland Wom
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, England 6, Northern Ireland Women 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, England 6, Northern Ireland Women 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Beth England (England) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucy Bronze with a cross.

  4. Booking

    Rebecca McKenna (Northern Ireland Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Chloe Kelly (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Rebecca McKenna (Northern Ireland Women).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Jill Scott (England).

  8. Post update

    Toni Leigh Finnegan (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Lucy Bronze (England).

  10. Post update

    Rachel Furness (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Post update

    Charlotte Wubben-Moy (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Dangerous play by Abbie Magee (Northern Ireland Women).

  13. Post update

    Offside, England. Stephanie Houghton tries a through ball, but Ebony Salmon is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Georgia Stanway (England).

  15. Post update

    Julie Nelson (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Toni Leigh Finnegan.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Ebony Salmon replaces Rachel Daly.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Samantha Kelly replaces Sarah Robson.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Kelsie Burrows replaces Nadene Caldwell.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Toni Leigh Finnegan replaces Rebecca Holloway.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 23rd February 2021

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