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Scotland U21 women strike four in victory over Wales Development

03 July 2017

Scotland U21 Women clocked up a superb 4-1 win over Wales Development as they continue their preparations for the U21 European Championships in the Czech Republic.

It was a fast-paced and energetic opening to the match where Scotland enjoyed most of the ball. The team looked sharp with Lexi Sabatelli and Lorna Cruickshank causing the Welsh problems in the early stages.

Despite a lack of clear opportunities it was a good first quarter for Scotland, where the Scots enjoyed the majority of the play.

Into the second quarter and Sabatelli was body-checked after some good play by Chloe Hardie and Ellie Hutcheson, it eventually led to a lofted ball into the D that Lauren Mackenzie-Bell launched herself towards, but couldn’t connect her stick to get the ball on target.

Lexi Sabatelli Sco 2 Wales

Then some lovely ball control by Sabatelli found Hardie in the D, who found a Welsh foot, winning Scotland a penalty corner. The initial effort by Emily Newlands struck another foot leading to a second penalty corner. Newlands stepped up again and this time she gave Scotland the lead, slamming her penalty corner into the bottom right corner.

The Scots had their tales up after the goal. Some excellent skill by Emily Dark saw her dribble into the D and win a penalty corner. It was Dark who struck at goal from the injection but Gemma Pryce in goal for Wales saved well with her leg guards.

With Scotland pressing well it was a quick break that led to an equaliser for Wales. The quick counter-attack finished with Alice Bennett adding the final touch to score before the break.

A short time after the restart, Rosie Bailey won the ball for Wales in a very dangerous area and drove powerfully towards the Scottish D. Katie Stott however made up ground at rapid speed to put in a superb challenge, and take the ball from Bailey to clear the danger.

Up the other end of the pitch and a foul on Dark won Scotland a penalty corner five minutes into the second half. Dark stepped up to strike it herself and her drag flick found its way past the goalkeeper to give Scotland a 2-1 lead.

In retaliation, Wales’ Alice Bennett broke forward but Megan Inch was out quickly to slide and block the ball before a clean shot at goal could be struck.

Scotland themselves broke forward at pace once more and Sabatelli, out wide on the left, zipped the ball across the goal but there were no takers in a Scotland jersey at the far post.

A third goal for Scotland came soon enough. A deflection from an Emily Dark cross found its way into the back of the Welsh net – Emma McDiarmid was in the mix but the final touch came of a Welsh stick to give Scotland the goal.

As the match surged towards its conclusion, once more some Sabatelli skills fashioned an opportunity on the right of the D, but this time her shot was well saved by the goalkeeper with her leg guards.

Sco Steiger U21 w

Scotland wouldn’t be denied another goal and extended the lead late in the game. Millie Steiger deflected a penalty corner to make it 4-1 and give Scotland U21 Women a super victory as they prepare for the European Championships in Czech Republic.

Photos by Mark Pugh

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