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Captain Jayne earns Wales a draw
 Women's Football News 15 Nov 2008
Captain Jayne earns Wales a draw - 15 Nov 2008 - Women's Football NewsA second half goal from captain Jayne Ludlow earned Wales a deserved 1-1 draw in the second of their double header of friendlies with Finland at Port Talbot.
After a difficult opening ten minutes, Adrian Tucker's side fully matched the Euro 2009 hosts and they will be more than satisfied with their performances over the two matches.
Ludlow returned to the starting line up as captain after being on UEFA Women's Cup duty with Arsenal, whilst Lauren Townsend took over in right back spot.
Finland made a fast start to the game and created the first opportunity as Essi Sainio's cross from the left was headed just wide by Susanna Lehtinen.
Two minutes later and Finland were in front. Jaana Lyytikainen's pass was flicked on by Annica Sjolund for Lehtinen who tucked the ball past Nicola Davies and into the corner of the net.
A Finnish corner almost led to a second goal but Linda Sallstrom's shot was charged down by Katie Daley and the danger was cleared.
Wales began to settle down and enjoyed a lot of possession in the attacking half but were not finding it easy to pierce a powerful Finland defence, spearheaded by Tiina Salmen in the centre. Kerrie Manley came closest as she was inches away from reaching a Jessica Fishlock free kick.
Sjolund produced a firm 20-yard strike which flew straight at Davies but it was Wales who finished the first half on top, driven forward by Ludlow, and they won a number of set piece situations that they could not quite take advantage of.
As the second half began, the early chances went Finland's way as Salmen headed wide and Davies saved from a Sainio header, but Wales once again showed their growing confidence by dictating play.
Wales were rewarded in the 57th minute as they were awarded a free kick near the goal line. Fishlock's cross picked out Ludlow who evaded her marker and got in front of Minna Meriluoto to plant a header into the back of the net for the equaliser.
A series of substitutions, mainly by Finland, did not help the flow of the game for a period although Katri Nokso-Koivisto missed a great chance as she shot wide with only Davies to beat.
This proved to be only a temporary relapse for a Welsh defence which stayed strong with Manley having a fine match and Townsend giving an impressive performance at full back.
The match remained finely poised with both sides looking evenly matched and a draw was a fair result, although it took an excellent save from Davies to preserve the draw for her side in injury time and she dived low to turn away a goalbound shot from Nina Hietanen.
Wales: Nicola Davies, Lauren Townsend, Natalie Holt, Kerrie Manley, Emma Jones, Katie Daley, Loren Dykes (sub Emma Plewa 71mins), Jayne Ludlow, Helen Lander (sub Cheryl Foster 81mins), Jessica Fishlock, Michelle Green. Subs not used: Rhian Nokes, Emily Hancock, Jo Edwards, Sally Wade, Alicia Powe.

Finland: Minna Meriluoto, Petra Vaelma, Essi Sainio (sub Katri Nokso-Koivisto 70mins), Tuija Hyyrynen, Jaana Lyytikainen (sub Maija Saari 45mins), Tiina Salmen, Anne Makinen, Linda Sallstrom (sub Nina Hietanen 45mins), Annica Sjolund (sub Leena Puranen 66mins), Anna-Kaisa Rantanen (sub Jessica Julin 67mins), Susanna Lehtinen (sub Anna Westerlund 67mins). Subs not used: Tinja-Riika Korpela, Heidi Lindstrom.

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