#Lionesses: Stubborn NI broken down by quick Mead treble

Beth Mead broke rthe deadlock for England
Beth Mead brakes the deadlock for England against Northern Ireland. (Photo: Henry Browne / Shekicks.net uses pictures provided by Getty Images)

England went top of their FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying group after eventually breaking down Northern Ireland in the last half-hour.

Alex Greenwood hit the crossbar after taking aim from 30 yards and Leah Williamson also went very close in the first half, glancing a header across the goalmouth.

A rare Irish opportunity came early in the second half, Lauren Wade’s cross so nearly connected with by Caragh Hamilton coming in at the far post.

Lauren Hemp’s strike inside the near post was cleared for a corner by Jackie Burns, but from the flag-kick Beth Mead hooked the ball home, having only been on the pitch for moments.

Beth Mead celebrates scoring for England
Beth Mead celebrates after scoring her team’s third goal. (Photo: Henry Browne / Shekicks.net uses pictures provided by Getty Images)

A quickfire brace followed both via the boot of Hemp, firstly her cross beating the keeper and knocked in by Beth England, secondly Mead burying the ball also at the far post.

Mead then slotted home to complete a 15-minute hat-trick and make it 4-0, after the ball ran lose from a challenge by Burns.

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