41 min: A freekick wide on the left is taken short to Mead, who tonks a long diagonal ball towards the back post. Bright soars to meet it but can’t keep her header down.
39 min: Bronze chips over a cross from the right. Scott meets it with a humdrum volley, of which the keeper makes a meal, pushing it around the post for a corner
38 min: A straightforward ball over the top catches out England, as Staskova runs past Stokes to collect it. But her touch betrays her and she runs over the endline before attempting a cross.
37 min: England are fitter than their opponents and are doing a good job of winning the ball back soon after losing it.
35 min: After a long spell of probing by the visitors, Stokes lashes in a low cross from the left. But England is offside again.
33 min: Bertholdova takes down Mead to give England a freekick in a useful crossing position wide on the left. Staniforth’s delivery is good but Czech Republic scramble it clear, eventually.
30 min: Staniforth sends England’s fourth corner of the game towards the back post. Bronze gets her head to it and bops it into the ground. The ball bounces up into the arms of the untroubled keeper.
GOAL! Czech Republic 2-2 England (Szewieczkova 27)
From out of nowhere the home side are level. England did not deal with a long ball from the back, heading it square to Szewieczkova, who lets fly with an excellent strike from over 20 yards. Telford plunges to her right but can’t get a hand to it as it whizzes high into the net.
27 min: As the rain turns into snow, England take a short corner and the Czechs defence melts away. A low cross from the right skids across the six-yard box and Bright has to stretch to meet it, sending a looping shot bouncing off the top of the bar.
26 min: England are passing more snappily now but could still do with a lot more precision when they get near the opposing box. They’re stretching the Czechs plenty and there are plenty of goals there for the visitors if they play their passes right.
24 min: Mead pings a low pass to Parris near the D. The Lyon forward turns sharply and cracks off a fierce shot, which Sonntagova deflects over for a corner.
22 min: “Is it too early to mention the US put three goals past Sweden in the opening 30 minutes last week?” asks C Noyes. Certainly not, but don’t forget to add that they didn’t score any in the second 60, during which they conceded twice.
GOAL! Czech Republic 1-2 England (Mead 19)
Mead opens up her body to receive a pass near the right-hand corner of the box and then curler a lovely shot into the far corner of the net. It looks like the Czechs’ opening goal made England as angry as Neville wanted them to be.
GOAL! Czech Republic 1-1 England (England 17)
England have woken up and deliver the perfect response to falling behind. Parris created, retrieving the ball at the byline after a heavy touch and then clipping it back to England, who hooked it high into the net at the near post.
GOAL! Czech Republic 1-0 England (Szewieczkova 15)
That’s a beautifully constructed goal, albeit against a very sluggish defence. Vonkova fed Svitkova, who, from a central position about 25 yards out, threaded a perfect pass through the English defence and into the path of the on-rushing Szewieczkova, who finished smartly.
13 min: England fire off their first shots. Parris’ half-volley from 15 yards is charged down before a follow-up effort from 25 yards wobbles miles wide.
11 min: The Czechs get in behind England again, Staskova running beyond Bright to collect a clever pass by Szewieckova. Then, from a difficult angle on the left, Staskova tries to fire a low shot into the far corner but it whizzes wide. Telford had it covered, anyway.
9 min: The hosts are well organised. England haven’t been able to work any openings yet and tend to lose the ball as soon as they get near their opponent’s well-defended box.
7 min: Nice counter-attack by the home team. Staskova, wide on the left, tees up Vonkova at the edge of the area. She shifts the ball nicely on to her left foot and then sends a decent curler a couple of yards over the bar from 20 yards. The Czechs have been the more polished side so far.
5 min: Mead comes in off the flank to meet a long diagonal pass and play a nice cushioned pass towards England, who had strayed offside.
3 min: What a chance for Staskova! Martinkova easily found space for a cross from the left and delivered a fine ball to the striker, who was unmarked six yards from goal! Luckily for England, Staskova’s finish was as bad as the defending. She nodded over the bar.
2 min: The early signs suggest England are going to have plenty of the ball today. The question is whether they can make astute use of it. Not so far, as Bright plays a sloppy ball straight into touch.
1 min: After pre-match huddle to check everyone is suitably peeved, England declare themselves ready to begin. The Czechs kick off ….
The teams file out on to the pitch, where they are greeted by heavy rain and a very light scattering of spectators. Anger levels must be rising among England’s players.
The England manager tells the BBC: “I want to see a performance. I want to see us play like people have been talking about us in the last 12 months – like one of the best teams in world football. We’ve left the players under no illusions as to what’s expected. We have to be ruthless.”
“Honestly England look like they need a change of manager and another disappointing result might help speed things along,” reckons C Noyes. “Then again, as an American looking forward to England being our major competition for a gold medal next year – go Lionesses! Play like you are angry with your manager! He’s given you that license.” So are you saying England’s manager is good or bad? “Bad, but in a good way,” replies C Noyes pronto. “A sort of useful idiot for USWNT world dominance. Long live the Reign of Phil!” Any England fans care to defend your manager?
Nikita Parris in the starting lineup but won’t be on spotkick duty, having missed three of her last four penalties for England.
Czech Republic: Votikova; Sonntagova, Bertholdova, Martinova, Sedlackova, Vonkova, Svitkova, CAhynova, Szewiekova, Staskova, Jarschovska
England: Telford; Bronze, Bright, Stokes, Williamson, Walsh, Parris, Scott, England, Staniforth, Mead
Always with his finger on the pulse, Phil Neville reckons there just isn’t enough anger in the world right now. So he wants his team to summon righteous fury today and use this friendly to show how much they despise the current state of things. Things such as the fact that England have managed to garner one win and five defeats from their last seven matches; and the fact that criticism of that miserable run has been “probably only half of what it should be”, according to Neville. The manager reckons it’s about time the Lionesses got their hulking act together.
“I want them to be really angry, I want them to be angry with me, I want them to be angry with themselves, and I want us to play angry,” stormed Neville, almost bursting his waistcoat with rage. “Because I think we’ve gone a little bit soft.” Now some folks might say that pleas such as that are the last resort of the clueless, but let’s wait and see how the one plays out. England must cope without four significant absentees – Steph Houghton, Alex Greenwood, Jodie Taylor and Ellen White – but if they don’t play with (a) anger and (b) brains, then everyone can feel free to vent on Neville.
Kick-off: 7.15pm GMT.