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Page last updated at 22:46 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 23:46 UK

England 1-0 Denmark

By Tony Leighton

England Women's coach Hope Powell
Hope Powell's team are preparing for the European Championship in August

A late winner by Jody Handley gave England a winning end to their programme of build-up matches for next month's European Championship finals.

Everton's Handley, on as a substitute, headed home in the 87th minute of a well-contested game at Swindon.

It was a patchy England display, with some good approach play spoiled by lack of finesse in the final third.

Worryingly for their chances of success at Euro 2009, Hope Powell's team were again without the injured Kelly Smith.

The talismanic striker is carrying a knee injury that Powell is hoping will be cleared up by the time she names her 22-player squad on 4 August.

"It's a case of managing Kelly's injury," she said. "I'm not a medic, but injuries happen and if she's not available someone else will be selected.

"It's not about one player, it's about the squad. There were some solid performances tonight and I've been given some selection problems - the right sort of problems."

Apart from Smith and goalkeeper Rachel Brown, who damaged her back in the warm-up, England were at full-strength against the injury-hit Danes.

606: DEBATE

Neither side produced a real goal threat until England captain Fara Williams had a low 12-yard shot well saved by goalkeeper Heidi Johansen on the half hour.

Karen Bardsley, making an impressive debut in place of Brown, made comfortable saves from winger Katrine Veje either side of half time.

Left winger Sue Smith should have given England a 72nd-minute lead shot wide after substitute keeper Tine Viskaer had parried a Williams shot.

And nine minutes later Williams, free on the left, screwed an angled 15-yard drive well wide of the far post.

But Handley finally grabbed a deserved winner for the home side when she neatly deflected right winger Karen Carney's cross-cum-shot into the roof of the net.

Powell added: "In patches we played quite well and we definitely deserved something out of the game, so it was nice to finish with a win."


England: Bardsley (New York Sky Blue); A. Scott (Boston Breakers), Johnson (Everton), Asante (New York Sky Blue), Stoney (Chelsea); Chapman (Arsenal), J. Scott (Everton) (Westwood (Everton) 90); F. Williams (Everton); Carney (Chicago Red Stars), Sanderson (Chelsea) (Handley (Everton) HT), S. Smith (Leeds Carnegie).

Denmark: Johansen (Viskaer HT); Bjerg, M. Jensen, K. Pedersen, Hansen; Larsen; Veje (Rasmussen 73), Nielsen (M. Pedersen 90), Christiansen (Madsen 88), Nadim; Pape (R. Jensen HT).



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see also
England 0-2 Iceland
17 Jul 09 |  Women
England climb to ninth in world
07 Jul 09 |  Women
England line up pre-Euro fixtures
08 Jun 09 |  Women
Powell may leave England position
04 Jun 09 |  Women


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