Easy win for England

Congleton Guardian: Eniola Aluko was England's stand-out performer in the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine Eniola Aluko was England's stand-out performer in the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine

Natasha Dowie and Eniola Aluko netted a brace each as England took another step towards the 2015 Women's World Cup with a 4-0 victory against Ukraine in Shrewsbury.

After having a frustrating time of it for much of the first half, the hosts made the breakthrough in the 41st minute when Dowie headed in Aluko's cross.

England then effectively ended the game as a contest soon after the break with a quickfire double, Aluko's strike in the 49th minute being followed up by a close-range finish from Dowie four minutes later.

Aluko subsequently added her second in the 63rd minute with a delightful effort, wrapping up a win that preserves England's 100 per cent record in Group 6 after six games and means the pool leaders are still yet to concede a goal in their campaign.

Mark Sampson's side are five points clear of second-placed Wales, also 4-0 victors on Thursday in their home clash with rock-bottom Montenegro.

England midfielder Jill Scott was to the fore in the early stages at the Greenhous Meadow, twice trying her luck to no avail.

It was Aluko who would really catch the eye, though, and she brought a save out of goalkeeper Irnya Zvarich before teeing up Scott, whose shot was pushed over.

Aluko then burst forward and hit the side-netting as England, playing in a new formation, looked to increase the pressure.

It paid off just before the interval when Aluko exchanged passes with Scott and sent in a delivery that Dowie flicked beyond Zvarich.

Aluko almost made it 2-0 three minutes later, finding herself through one-on-one and seeing her shot come off Zvarich's legs.

The forward would not be denied for much longer, though, and she duly got on the scoresheet shortly after the restart by rifling in having the collected the ball from Steph's Houghton's lay-off.

Dowie swiftly made it 3-0, turning in Houghton's header from a corner.

And Aluko then provided the highlight of the match, latching onto a long ball, touching it past the outrushing Zvarich and slotting in from a tight angle.

England almost let their run of clean sheets go late on when a moment of sloppiness saw Daryna Apanaschenko burst through, but Siobhan Chamberlain pulled off a fine save.

The result - third-placed Ukraine's first defeat of the campaign - takes England's goal tally to 33 without reply.

They look in fine form ahead of Canada 2015, although this was their last home Group 6 match, with them having trips to Belarus, Ukraine, Wales and Montenegro to come.

Aluko has warned England are taking nothing for granted.

She told the BBC: "I think we did well in the new formation.

"Mark has given us the opportunity to try it to bring out different strengths in all of us and I think we dealt with it well.

"I think we got on the ball a lot more and rotated really well.

"There wasn't as much width, but I think we utilised that as forwards, getting up there and creating chances - arguably, it should have been more. It is a pleasing performance and the most important thing is three points.

"It has been a really positive campaign so far - we have scored lots of goals and not conceded any.

"I think that is brilliant but we have to keep going and not get complacent.

"We have another camp coming up in June and we just have to make sure we get to Canada."

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