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Release Date: 10/09/2012

Author: Sam Woodside

NORTHERN Ireland Under 17's opened their European Championship qualifying campaign with a scoreless draw against England at Solitude on Monday evening.

A game which saw a solid midfield battle from both sides left Alison Nicholl's side with a well-earned point against a strong England side.

England created the best chance of the opening minutes but dragged a shot wide of the post.

Northern Ireland looked threatening going forward, notably from winger Aimee Makin, giving her full back marker a difficult evening with tricky dribbling and sending crosses into the box.

Northern Ireland narrowly missed the opportunity to go one nil up in the first half, sending an effort inches over the crossbar. They were controlling the midfield and looked dangerous on the break, finding threaded final passes and breaking up attacks.

Both sides entered the interval level, with NI looking as though they would find the breakthrough first with their controlling play and dangerous counter attacks.

As England began to see more and more of the ball, Northern Ireland were on the back foot and called on'keeper Jackie Burns on several occasions, who otherwise had a comfortable night in goal.

The decisive moment came towards the 80th minute, a goalmouth scramble that fell to England forward Claudia Walker who rattled the post from 10 yards.

For England, it wasn’t to be and Northern Ireland come away with a point in their opening fixture. An excellent display of organisation and hard work from the girls. 

Attention now turns to Wednesday evening where Alison’s side, looking to build upon a positive performance, take on Italy at Moyola Park's Mill Meadow ground in Castledawson (7:30pm)

Northern Ireland: Burns, Doherty, Sheridan, McGivern, McCarron, Curran, Burden, Feehan, Timoney, Mackin, Dane subs Poots (not used), McFarland (not used), Forbes (replaced Curran 58), Kelly (replaced McGivern 68), Myles (replaced Timoney 33), Wright (not used), McGlade (not used)

Italy defeated Israel 5-0 in the other Group Two game played today.


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  • Northern Ireland Team

    Northern Ireland Team before tonights game against England

    Pic: Gary Hancock

  • Aimee Mackin in Action 1

    Aimee Mackin shows some close control against England's Leah Williamson

    Pic: Gary Hancock

  • 2 team lineup

    Northern Ireland and England line up before tonights game

    Pic: Gary Hancock

  • Chloe McCarron

    Northern Ireland's Chloe McCarron shields the ball from England's Sarah Mayling.

    Pic: Gary Hancock

  • Chelsea Myles

    Northern Ireland's Chelsea Myles gets a bit of unwelcome attention from England's Molly Bartnip

    Pic: Gary Hancock

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