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England Czech-ed in stalemate
 Women's Football News 21 Mar 2008
 
England Czech-ed in stalemate - 21 Mar 2008 - Women's Football NewsEngland 0 Czech Republic 0
att: 5,975; at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster

England stay five points clear at the top of Group One but a disappointing performance could not bring them their fifth straight win in unhelpful conditions at the Keepmoat Stadium. England sorely missed star striker Kelly Smith and the Czech Republic defended strongly to earn themselves a deserved point.
 
Hope Powell was forced to make one change from the team which beat Northern Ireland two weeks previously with Lianne Sanderson coming in for the suspended Kelly Smith whilst Emily Westwood replaced Jill Scott who was out with a virus.
 
There was an early scare for England as Katerina Doskova fired at goal from around 12 yards but goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain averted the danger with a block. England then appeared to have good cliams for a penalty as Faye White was shoved in the back from a corner by Eva Smeralova, Alex Scott's goalbound header was blocked and play went on.
 
A Fara Williams free kick from the left caused problems for the Czech defence but the ball was bundled narrowly wide by Faye White. At the other end, an ambitious 30-yard strike from Czech full back Lucie Kladrubska sailed just past the far post.
 
The swirling wind was not making it easy for the players but England were guilty of wasting possession in good areas and finding it difficult to create chances. Lucie Martinkova lifted a shot over the bar on the turn on the stroke of half time but it was a rare attempt on goal in a largely uneventful first half.
 
Hope Powell made two substitutions at half time in order to freshen things up and after a bright start from the Czechs, It was England who were go close as Karen Carney's corner picked out White whose header was blocked and the ball was cleared from in front of goal.
 
The England captain continued to look like her side's most likely goal threat and a firm header from another Carney corner was clawed away by Marcela Zbrilova. England were awarded a free kick in a central position, 20 yards from goal, for a foul on Westwood, Williams stepped up to plant a good effort goalwards but Zbrilova got her hands to the ball before claiming at the second attempt.
 
Alex Scott drilled a left foot shot just over the bar and the England full back was just unable to direct her volley on goal as Eniola Aluko drove in a cross. Still England could not make any headway and there were no further problems for the Czechs who defended deeper as the half went on and stayed firm for a share of the spoils.
 
England: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Scott, Casey Stoney, Anita Asante, Faye White, Mary Phillip (sub Lindsay Johnson 45mins), Karen Carney, Fara Williams, Lianne Sanderson (sub Eniola Aluko 45mins), Emily Westwood, Rachel Yankey. Subs: Carly Telford, Rachel Unitt, Jody Handley, Sue Smith, Laura Bassett.

Czech Republic: Marcela Zbrilova, Petra Bertholdova, Lucie Martinkova, Eva Smeralova, Lucie Heroldova, Blanka Penickova (sub Adela Pivonkova 87mins), Katerina Doskova, Veronika Pincova, Lucie Kladrubska (sub Veronica Hoferkova 68mins), Irena Martinkova, Kamila Vesela. Subs: Ivana Odlasova, Petra Divisova, Adela Pivonkova, Michaela Markova, Jana Kralova, Martina Danielova.

Photo - England's Alex Scott is tackled by Czech Republic striker Kamila Vesela
(www.jamesprickett.co.uk)

 
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