The Lionesses and Northern Ireland have previously met on eleven occasions, six of these being in the EURO Qualifiers but this will only be the second meeting in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, writes Rod Prescott.
England have won all eleven, scoring 60 goals in the process and conceded just three. All the programme covers shown are taken from our own complete England Women’s Programme Collection and each image contains its match details.
Missing though is England 5 Northern Ireland 1 from Sept 7th 1973, played at Bath City FC. In over 40 years we have never been able to establish if anything was printed for this game.
1 – The first ever EURO Qualifier involving England and Northern Ireland was held at Crewe Alexandra on Sept 19th 1982, England winning comfortably 7-1 .
Kerry Davis who played for Crewe scored two, Linda Curl two , Janet Turner (who played for St Helens), Tracey Doe and Gillian Coultard all scored one goal. Gillian Totten – aged just 17 of Bangor Girls, County Down – would become one of only three Northern Ireland players to date to score past England.
2 – The return Euro Qualifier in Belfast resulted in a 4-0 victory for England on May 14th 1983.
Kerry Davis of Crewe Ladies continued her scoring versus Northern Ireland on 5 & 53 minutes, with Linda Curl (Lowestoft Ladies) 58 mins & Pat Chapman (Southampton) 86 with one goal each. England would win their group and go on to reach the two legged final versus Sweden.
3 – Meetings between Northern Ireland and England in the Euro Qualifiers would continue on May 25th 1985.
England defeated their hosts 8-1 at Allen Park, Antrim. Kerry Davis – still with Crewe Ladies of the North West Women’s League Division One – scored five, Linda Curl two and a very young Hope Powell aged 18 scored one goal.
4 – The North West would again host the return Euro Qualifying Round meeting when the two teams met at Ewood Park, home of Blackburn Rovers, England winning 10-0 in March 1986.
Kerry Davis, who had now moved to play her football for Lazio in Italy, delighted the crowd with an impressive hat-trick, Linda Curl two, Hope Powell two, Jackie Slack , Jackie Sherrard and Gillian Coultard all scored one goal.
5 – Elland Road, home of Leeds United, hosted the Friendly International played on April 11th 1987.
England ran out comfortable 6-0 winners with a Marieanne Spacey hat trick, plus one goal each from Linda Curl, Brenda Sempare and Hope Powell.
6 – The two nations would not meet again until competing in the Algarve Cup Group C Match in Paderne, Portugal on March 9th 2005.
England won the game 4-0 , the scorers being Vicky Exley (56 & 89) , Karen Carney (31) and Rachel McArthur (59). This lovely 40-page full colour programme was produced for this superb tournament.
7 – Euro Qualifiers between the Lionesses and Northern Ireland returned during May 2007.
England ran out 4-0 winners at Gillingham FC, where Kelly Smith opened the scoring on 52 minutes. An unfortunate own-goal from Una Harkin (66), plus efforts by Katie Chapman (72) and Lianne Sanderson (76) completed the scoring in front of 3,944 spectators.
8 – The return Euro Qualifier at Mourneview Park, Lurgan played on March 6th 2008, resulted in a 2-0 victory for England.
Fara Williams (18) and Faye White (84) secured the points to help see England through to the 2009 Finals in Finland, where they would go all the way to the final.
9 – The Covid-19 Pandemic would see England and Northern Ireland meet in a behind closed doors friendly on the Sir Bobby Charlton Pitch at St Georges Park on February 23rd 2021.
England won the encounter 6-0 with a hat-trick from Ellen White (18, 23, & 49 mins) and further goals from Lucy Bronze (29) , Rachel Daly (67) and an Ella Toone penalty (75). This had been a first meeting for 13 years!
10 – Acquaintances were renewed on October 23rd 2021 when the two teams met at Wembley Stadium in front of 23,225 spectators, to contest a Group D FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifier.
It would take a second half hat-trick from substitute Beth Mead to see of an excellent display from the visitors, placed at 46 in the FIFA Women’s rankings. Mead scored on 64, 74 and 78 mins, with Beth England adding to the tally on 72 mins to see England home with a final score of 4-0. However, Northern Ireland goalkeeper Jackie Burns of Glentoran was certainly our personal Player of the Match, pulling off some superb saves and in a fantastic overall performance.