Toni Duggan scores for Manchester City Women on a goal-filled Easter weekend
Kick It Out’s ‘Next 20’ initiative involves 20 young players who represent the organisation as ambassadors and help to spread the key messages of equality and inclusion. Every week, we’ll bring you a round-up of how our ambassadors are doing on the pitch.
By Ross Hobart
With the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) season now underway, ‘Next 20’ ambassadors Toni Duggan and Jordan Nobbs went head-to-head for their respective sides as Manchester City Women defeated Arsenal Ladies 2-0 at the Academy Stadium on Easter Monday.
The Gunners were forced to play more than 75 minutes with 10 players after Jemma Rose was sent off for a professional foul on Nikita Parris. City were able to capitalise on this and they took the lead minutes later thanks to a header from Scottish international Jane Ross. Duggan then secured the win from the penalty spot after Parris was upended in the area to maintain City’s 100% start to the Women’s Super League.
Jack Butland received his fourth England cap as he started in their 3-2 win against Germany at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, however the Stoke goalkeeper will miss the rest of the season and Euro 2016 after fracturing his ankle in the build up to Toni Kroos’ opening goal.
The World Cup holders doubled their lead thanks to Mario Gomez’s header, but Harry Kane pulled one back four minutes later with an impressive turn and shot. Jamie Vardy then equalised with his first international goal before Eric Dier completed the comeback with a towering header in stoppage time to give Roy Hodgson’s side a morale-boosting victory.
Romelu Lukaku was on target for Belgium as his side lost 2-1 against Portugal in Leiria on Tuesday. Former Manchester United pair Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo put the Portuguese two goals up before Lukaku headed home a cross from his brother Jordan to halve the deficit.
Ben Davies was fit to play the full game against Ukraine in Kiev on Easter Monday after he missed Wales’ previous friendly against Northern Ireland through injury. Wales’ poor run of form continued as they lost the game 1-0 thanks to an Andriy Yarmelenko strike after 28 minutes.
Walsall playmaker Romaine Sawyers scored for St Kitts And Nevis on Easter Sunday as they defeated Aruba 2-0 in their opening game of the Caribbean Cup.
Wes Foderingham completed 90 minutes as Rangers edged out Queen of the South 4-3 in an entertaining game at Ibrox on Saturday. Harry Forrester put the home side ahead before Iain Russell equalised from the penalty spot.
Quick-fire second half goals from Michael O’Halloran, Andy Halliday and James Tavernier proved to be enough to secure the victory, even though goals from Gary Oliver and Mark Millar ensured a nervy end to the game. The Ibrox club are now just two wins away from a return to the Scottish top flight.
In League One, Danny Rose made his first league start in 2016 as Bury drew 1-1 away at Blackpool on Good Friday. Danny Philliskirk put the hosts ahead after 74 minutes from the penalty spot before Danny Mayor equalised 2 minutes later to earn his side a point. Rose then came on as a second-half substitute on Easter Monday as the Shakers entertained Gillingham at Gigg Lane, but the hosts remained winless over the Easter period as the Gills secured a 1-0 thanks to a strike from Luke Norris.
Gael Birigimana played just over an hour as Coventry City suffered their eighth defeat in the last 12 as they lost at Peterborough United on Good Friday. Michael Bostwick and Lee Angol had put the home side into a two-goal lead before veteran midfielder Joe Cole pulled one back for the Sky Blues. Harry Beautyman then sealed the three points for Posh, who won at home for the first time since Boxing Day. Bigirimana was then an unused substitute for Coventry as they crashed to another defeat on Tuesday evening, this time losing 1-0 to lowly Colchester United at the Ricoh Arena.
Michael Harriman’s first goal since December was enough for Wycombe Wanderers to see off fellow play-off chasing Mansfield Town at Adams Park on Good Friday. Harriman cut inside the full back to fire a cross-come-shot into the corner to earn his side a narrow 1-0 victory and move them back into the final League Two play-off position. The Chairboys followed this up with a goalless draw away at Notts County on Easter Monday.