By Stuart Mawhinney. Saturday, 22 March 2008.
UEFA Women's European Championship
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Qualifying Round, Group One
7.05pm, Thursday 20 March 2008
The Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster Rovers FCLive on BBC Three
England Head Coach Hope Powell admitted she was disappointed with just a point at home to Czech Republic, but said that it was up to the players to learn from the performance and move on to the next challenge.
Having played their final home game of the qualification campaign, the Three Lions now face trips to Belarus, Spain and Czech Republic in their bid to make it to Finland and Euro 2009. But Powell says that despite dropping points, at least England remain unbeaten.
Powell said: "It was disappointing, I was pleased that we didn't lose the game actually. We're stil unbeaten, but I think the players will be very disappointed.
"There are no excuses, I think Czech Republic slowed the game down and did a job. They got eleven players behind the ball at times, and it was difficult to play against but at times we were very naieve. We couldn't work it out and at times we needed to play smarter, I'm not happy."
When asked if missing Kelly Smith was a factor in the outcome, Powell was quick to downplay the significance of her absence.
"We can't make that as an excuse, we just didn't perform," Powell explained. "Not for the want of trying, I can't fault the players on that, they prepared well this week and worked hard.
"We just had too many players that weren't on their game, and it is a harsh lesson. But thankfully we came away with something, we have a point and it could easily have gone the other way and we could have got nothing."
The pouring rain and swirling wind became a factor during the match, but Powell says she was disappointed that the players did not alter their strategy to cope with the conditions.
"It was quite difficult, the wind seemed to cause all sorts of problems and we have to work it out and play the ball on the deck. But I can't make excuses, it was the same for both teams and they had to play in the same conditions.
"We got a point, was it good enough? Of course not. It's a great point for them (Czech Republic) and credit to them for their effort, but we have some work to do."Teams
1 Siobhan Chamberlain, 2 Alex Scott, 3 Casey Stoney, 4 Anita Asante, 5 Faye White (c), 6 Mary Phillip (12 Lindsay Johnson 46
), 7 Karen Carney, 8 Fara Williams, 9 Lianne Sanderson (16 Eniola Aluko 46
), 10 Emily Westwood, 11 Rachel YankeySubs Not Used:
13 Carly Telford, 14 Rachel Unitt, 15 Jody Handley, 17 Sue Smith, 18 Laura BassettCzech Republic:
1 Marcela Zbrilova, 3 Petra Bertholdova, 4 Lucie Martinkova, Eva Smeralova (c), 8 Lucie Heroldovaa, 10 Blanka Penickova (6 Adela Pivonkova 88
), 11 Katerina Doskova, 12 Veronika Pincova, 15 Lucie Kladrubska (14 Veronica Hoferkova 69
), 17 Irena Martinkova, 18 Kamila Vesela Subs Not Used:
16 Ivana Odlasova, 2 Petra Divisova, 7 Michaela Markova, 9 Jana Kralova, 13 Martina DanielovaCoach: