England's second string sink Malta with Fara Williams hat-trick
The Everton midfielder Fara Williams hit a hat-trick as England eased into their 2011 World Cup qualifying campaign with an 8-0 defeat over the weakest of the five nations in Group Five. Fielding a side showing seven changes from last month's Euro 2009 final, it was a stroll for Hope Powell's fringe players at Blackpool's Bloomfield Road, particularly after the 57th-minute sending-off of Malta's central defender Natasha Pace. Against opponents ranked 89th in the world, who were thrashed 13-0 by Spain in their first qualifier, the question was not if England would win but by how many.
England had to break through a packed midfield and a back line of five but the task was rarely arduous, though lack of inventiveness and poor finishing meant the final scoreline was not as decisive as it should have been. Powell will have learned nothing new about the players trying to stake a claim for a place in the starting line-up.
The goals came at regular intervals, the captain, Faye White, hitting the opener after eight minutes. Williams added the second 12 minutes later and the Leeds Carnegie winger Jess Clarke got the third in the 37th minute. Williams scored her second six minutes before the interval and completed her hat-trick eight minutes after Pace's dismissal.
Clarke struck again in the 76th minute and 60 seconds later the substitute Emily Westwood, from 25 yards, hit the best goal of the night. Westwood's Everton colleague Rachel Unitt rounded off the scoring three minutes from time.
Malta Costantino; Chircop (Saliba 64), Parnis, Pace, Dagostino, Zammit; Camilleri (Deguara 51), Cuschieri, Theuma, Debono (Fenech 85); Carabott.