Ellen White became England’s all-time leading women’s goalscorer in style as the Lionesses smashed Latvia 20-0 in their latest 2023 World Cup qualifier, which also set a new England record winning margin and was only one short of equalling the world record in women’s international football.
The Manchester City striker, who had got to within one of Kelly Smith’s record of 46 against Austria last time out, needed only nine minutes to equal and then surpass it. She eventually finished with three goals on the night and now has 48 for her country.
England hammered Latvia 10-0 away in Riga only last month but this time it was even more relentlessly one-sided and they raced into an 8-0 lead by half-time in Doncaster.
Alex Greenwood set the tone when she rattled the crossbar from range barely a minute into the match. Beth Mead made the breakthrough moments later and it opened the floodgates.
Within the first 23 minutes, Mead had completed her hat-trick, White had got two for the record – one a long-range stunner and the other a six-yard tap-in, and Lauren Hemp had also netted with a rare header to score her first senior international goal in her 14th cap.
Latvia stemmed the tide briefly, but two more quickfire goals from Ella Toone and another header from Hemp took England’s lead up to eight in the final moments of the first half.
England began the second half in similar fashion. White became the second player on the night to get a hat-trick when she fired in another long-range effort, before Georgia Stanway made it 10-0 from the penalty spot – she also laid on six of England’s goals.
Substitute Jess Carter turned in at close-range from a corner and Bethany England finally got her goal to make it 12-0 after seemingly being the only Lioness to be frustrated in the opening hour.
The record winning margin was equalled when Jill Scott made it 13-0 off the bench, with fellow substitute Alessia Russo getting the record-breaking 14th England goal with a powerful header. Hemp became the third player to complete a hat-trick when she scored the 15th.
There was still time for Russo to get a hat-trick, for Jordan Nobbs to get on the score-sheet and England to get her second, before Hemp one-upped all the other hat-trick scorers with her fourth and the team’s 20th on an incomprehensible night.
Mary Earps (GK) – N/A – Her biggest task was staying warm in the chilly Yorkshire air because she had absolutely nothing to do.
Millie Bright (CB) – 7/10 – Occupied an incredibly high position, underlining England’s dominance and the borderline ridiculous ease of the game.
Lotte Wubben-Moy (CB) – 7/10 – Posed a threat at set-pieces. Carried the ball well out of defence.
Alex Greenwood (CB) – 9/10 – Cracked a long-range effort against the cross a minute after the opening kick-off. Her passing was next level and gave her a hat-trick of assists.
Beth Mead (RM) – 10/10 – Disappointed not to score in front of her home crowd last time, but made up for that in style with a 22-minute hat-trick.
Georgia Stanway (CM) – 10/10 – Took up clever positions in that inside right role and was laying on assist after assist.
Keira Walsh (CM) – 8/10 – Picked incisive forward passes at will.
Ella Toone (CM) – 7/10 – Looked eager to impress with plenty of shots and movement. Got her reward with a goal before being replaced at half-time.
Lauren Hemp (LM) – 10/10 – Got the first four goals of her senior international career, the first two rare headers, the third a bullet from the edge of the penalty area, and the fourth a swivel and finish.
Bethany England (ST) – 8/10 – Had the ball in the net in the first half but was offside. Eventually got her goal with a sigh of relief later on, before adding a second to her personal tally.
Ellen White (ST) – 9/10 – Needed just nine minutes to break the goal record. Added a spectacular third to complete her hat-trick early in the second half.
Jordan Nobbs (CM) – 8/10 – Saw lots of the ball in creative areas. Delighted to score after a challenging couple of years.
Jess Carter (CB) – 7/10 – Didn’t need to defend so got in on the scoring.
Jill Scott (CM) – 7/10 – Scored within minutes of coming off the bench.
Alessia Russo (ST) – 9/10 – Scored the record breaking 14th goal with a powerful header. Two more easy headers gave her a hat-trick.
Katie Zelem (CM) – 7/10 – Finally made her Lionesses debut.