England Women ended their home Euro 2017 qualifying campaign with a resounding 5-0 win against Estonia at Meadow Lane.
A hat-trick from Arsenal Ladies striker Danielle Carter plus Jill Scott’s header and Karen Carney’s penalty were enough for Mark Sampson’s side to record another comfortable victory, following on from their 8-0 away win in Estonia 12 months ago.
With Euro 2017 qualification already assured, Sampson tinkered with both his team and his formation, lining up in a 3-5-2 system with Nikita Parris partnering Carter up front.
The breakthrough didn’t take long to arrive, Carter swept home Gemma Davison’s low cross and it was only a matter of minutes before Scott added the second. After good work from Demi Stokes, Carter struck the bar and Scott was on hand to nod home England’s second.
As quickly as it was two, it was three and it was Carter again when she found herself on the end of a neat one-two with strike partner Parris to ensure a three goal lead after just 17 minutes.
Whilst it wasn’t the Manchester City attacker’s night in front of goal, Gemma Davison, Jordan Nobbs and Karen Carney also saw several efforts go off target or saved by Getter Laar before Carter completed her hat-trick in the second half.
After Parris was fouled on the edge of the box, Carney’s free-kick fell to Carter who used her striker’s instinct to record her second hat-trick in just two England caps – both against Estonia.
Captain Steph Houghton was next to go close, Laar was equal to her powerful free-kick as Mark Sampson introduced Rachel Daly, Jade Moore and Gilly Flaherty to the encounter.
England added to the four goals that wrapped up a comfortable night for Sampson and his team in stoppage time when Karen Carney smashed home a penalty to put the icing on the cake.
The Lionesses now fly to Belgium to face their opposition for top spot on Tuesday evening, a repeat of the 1-1 draw in the repeat fixture will be enough to secure first position but Sampson will be looking to go out with a strong performance and three points.