Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland women target win in Bosnia

By Laure James

Northern Ireland's senior women's side go into their World Cup qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina in good heart tonight after making Scotland sweat at the weekend.

The Mourneview Park clash (7.30pm) is the team's first home fixture of their campaign and admission to the contest is free.

Northern Ireland captain and Linfield Ladies ace Ashley Hutton will be looking to net an early birthday present ahead of turning 26 on Saturday.

Alfie Wylie's side faced a daunting opener in Scotland but a battling display saw them suffer only a 2-0 defeat.

The wet and windy conditions at Fir Park in Motherwell were not conducive to attractive football but the visitors fought to the finish after conceding on three minutes.

Had Sarah McFadden converted a header the Scots would have found the going tougher but their second goal arrived in the 78th minute.

"We had a terrible start," said Wylie.

"We could have fallen apart but the girls showed determination and belief and we'll take that into our game against Bosnia."

Northern Ireland squad: Emma Higgins (Doncaster Belles); Jacqueline Burns (Mid Ulster Ladies), Alex Hurst (Bristol City), Ashley Hutton (Linfield Ladies), Amy McGivern (Crusaders Strikers), Julie Nelson (Glasgow City), Demi Vance (Glentoran Belfast United), Nadene Caldwell (Glentoran Belfast United), Sarah McFadden (Sunderland), Jessica Doran (Crusaders Strikers), Kendra McMullen (Sion Swifts), Rachel Furness (Sunderland), Lynda Shepherd (Man City), Danielle McDowell (Crusaders), Marissa Callaghan (Cliftonville), Hannah Doherty (Crusaders Strikers), Lynsey Corry (Glentoran Belfast United), Lisa Armour (Crusaders Strikers), Aimee Mackin (Newry City Ladies).

* NOTTS County are thought to have targeted NI under-21 coach Stephen Robinson to save them from rapid decline.

The basement League One club have ex-Nottingham Forest and England midfielder Steve Hodge in as caretaker boss but he has insisted he will not permanently replace sacked Chris Kiwomya.

Robinson, who also heads up the Northern Ireland under-19s squad, is well-connected with chief executive Jim Rodwell and his commitment to the youth set-ups is believed to have impressed the East Midlands club.

Hodge, famous for his 'Hand of God' shirt from England's 1986 World Cup quarter-final against Argentina, has made it clear to Rodwell he is happier in his role as development squad manager.

Belfast Telegraph

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