Beth England and Ella Toone hat-tricks steal the show in Lionesses intra-squad friendly
(Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Hat-tricks for Beth England and Ella Toone, along with Nikita Parris' penalty and substitute Rinsola Babajide's second half finish gave England Away an 8-1 win over England Home. 

The two starting wingers, playing for the away side in Stoke, both found the net from the spot in a first-half where Beth England went down with a head injury for the second spot-kick, though returned to the field shortly afterwards with her head bandaged.

The second half was even more comprehensive; England netted twice and Toone doubled her tally in a dominant affair for the Reds before Babajide took her time in the box to score her side's sixth.

Hat-tricks were then completed for England and Toone, either side of a Keira Walsh consolation screamer from 25-yards out in the dying embers of the contest.

The three forwards, their opposition counterpart Beth Mead and substitute Red Babajide all looked lively as the 28-player squad continue their ten-day training camp at St. George's Park.

  • The teams

The home side, captained by Steph Houghton, approached the game in a 4-3-3 formation with Ellen White leading the line up front. Joining her in the three were Niamh Charles and the impressive Mead, whilst Walsh, Lauren Coombs and Georgia Stanway started in midfield.

Houghton was joined by Rachel Daly, Grace Fisk and Esme Morgan at the back, with FIFA's Best Goalkeeper nominee Ellie Roebuck behind them.

Lucy Bronze led the victorious away side, as Parris, England and Toone all impressed up front. Joined by her fellow wing-back Demi Stokes, Bronze's side opted for a 3-4-3 with Jill Scott and Lucy Staniforth in the midfield. A back-three of Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Mille Turner were supported by Sandy MacIver in goal.

Debutant Lauren James made the home bench with Jordan Nobbs and Carly Telford, whilst the away bench consisted of Babajide and late call-ups Karen Bardsley and Katie Zelem.

  • Story of the match

After a routinely slow start for a friendly, the first notable piece of action came after 13 minutes when Parris, fresh after being fouled in the box moments earlier by Fisk, sent Roebuck the wrong way from the penalty spot to give the away side the lead.

The Away team continued to dominate, although a few forays forward for the home side kept the game in the balance, notably White's finish beyond the diving MacIver, which was ruled out in the build-up due to an offside call against Mead.

Mead was in the thick of it again as England Home started to find their feet. A stunning ball from Houghton saw the forward clean through on goal but MacIver was on-hand to rush out and deny her a shot. Her header a few minutes later sailed over the bar as well as the game started to level out.

But levelling out as it was, the Reds were awarded another penalty on the half hour mark. Bronze delivered a cross worthy of her FIFA Awards nomination to England who was struck by the high boot of Daly. Toone took the honours this time and slotted the ball into the same side as Parris earlier in the half.

Second half

There were no changes to either side after the break, nor the proceedings for that matter. First England directed a header beyond the desperate glove of Roebuck, and Toone made no mistake with a one-on-one opportunity gifted to her by Williamson's pass.

With the contest out of sight, the changes were rung. Nobbs and debutant James came on for Coombs and Charles for the home side - Babajide and Zelem replaced Staniforth and the impressive Toone for the away.

Babajide didn't take long to get stuck in, whipping in a delightful cross for England to slide home for her second of the affair. A delightful finish across Roebuck gave her no chance, although an injury that saw her briefly removed from the field again was a small price to pay.

Then Babajide was able to get on the scoresheet herself, with a calm finish below Roebuck after Parris' blocked cross, a well deserved goal for the 22-year-old.

England and Toone completed their hat-tricks, the former with another header as she capped off a wonderful performance despite her first-half head injury.

Then the latter broke through one-on-one for the away side's eighth, preceded by a wonder strike from Walsh 25-yards out. A goal worthy of a winner was simply a mere consolation.

  • Player of the match - Beth England

England's away number nine went through the wars in Stoke. Taken off the field in each half for two different injuries, the first of which required a head bandage, England still found the net three times with a range of exquisite finishes. The first, a header that beat the palms of Roebuck was soon followed by her second, a smart finish across the goalkeeper from Babajide's excellent cross. Then another header, this time without a fingertip from England's number one finished off a remarkable showing.

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