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Parris and Scott on target as under-par England see off Denmark

Phil Neville’s side did enough to win but struggling to impress in their World Cup warm-up match.

Jill Scott (right) heads home England’s second goal against Denmark (Barry Coombs/PA).
Jill Scott (right) heads home England’s second goal against Denmark (Barry Coombs/PA).

Nikita Parris and Jill Scott scored either side of the break as England Women beat Denmark 2-0 in their penultimate World Cup warm-up match.

Parris struck in first-half stoppage time at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium and Scott, the Lionesses’ captain for the afternoon, added a header just before the hour mark.

Denmark, the beaten Euro 2017 finalists who failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup, had a Signe Bruun effort ruled out for handball just prior to Parris’ goal, and skipper Pernille Harder sent a curling free-kick narrowly wide at 2-0.

England’s preparations for the World Cup continue with a final warm-up game against New Zealand at Brighton’s Amex Stadium next Saturday, before their campaign gets underway on June 9 with a Group D clash against Scotland in Nice.

Scott wore the armband with boss Phil Neville having opted to name regular captain Steph Houghton on the bench as he made three changes from last month’s 2-1 win against Spain.

Scott and Houghton’s former City team-mate Parris among those coming in a few days on from her move to Champions League winners Lyon.

Denmark made the better start as Sanne Troelsgaard, Harder – the Wolfsburg star who came second in last year’s inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or – and Bruun sent attempts off-target and Troelsgaard
saw her strike blocked by Jade Moore.

England then went close to taking the lead in the 17th minute when Scott delivered an excellent through-ball and Ellen White’s shot went wide.

With the hosts building some momentum, a Georgia Stanway strike deflected behind and Scott then got on the end of a ball into the box from the 20-year-old, lifting her effort over the bar.

Demi Stokes subsequently fired wide of the Danish goal before Karen Bardsley gathered a Troelsgaard shot at the other end.

Denmark then had the ball in the net but the effort was disallowed for handball, Bruun deemed to have controlled the ball with her arm before prodding in.

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Nikita Parris opened the scoring for England against Denmark (Barry Coombs/PA)

And moments later England were front as the visitors failed to deal with Beth Mead’s free-kick, the ball came to Parris and she took a touch before firing home.

Bardsley did well six minutes into the second half as she got down at the feet of Harder and saved.

England then doubled their advantage around the hour mark as Mead collected the ball from Stanway, sent in a cross and Scott crashed a header past goalkeeper Katrine Abel.

Harder’s free-kick curling narrowly wide nine minutes later was the best Denmark could muster as England saw out the victory.

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