Houghton double as England put four past Bosnia-Herzegovina

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Highlights: England thrash Bosnia-Herzegovina

England made it two wins out of two in World Cup qualifying as they easily beat Bosnia-Herzegovina in Walsall.

Captain Steph Houghton scored twice, adding a 54th-minute free-kick to her 19th-minute headed opener.

Nikita Parris headed home the second from Toni Duggan’s cross 42 seconds after the break, while Fran Kirby’s penalty completed the scoring late on.

Wales beat Kazakhstan 1-0 in Cardiff to top Group A by one point from England who have a game in hand.

England were runaway winners but they could, and really should, have had more.

Chelsea’s 25-goal number 10 Kirby was particularly out of luck, having a string of on-target efforts denied by either keeper Almina Hodzic or her defenders. And one 20-yard chip on the stroke of half-time brought the save of the night, Hodzic somehow finding the height to tip the ball over.

The Lionesses opened their qualification campaign by beating Russia 6-0 in September, with former boss Mark Sampson sacked the following day.

He was dismissed following evidence of “inappropriate and unacceptable” behaviour with female players in a previous role.

Interim manager Mo Marley took charge for the first time last month in a 1-0 friendly defeat against France.

‘The crowd gave us an extra 10 or 15%’

Mo Marley<!–

Mo Marley has won one and lost one of her two games in temporary charge of England

Marley’s three-match reign is due to end with England’s third World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan in Colchester on Tuesday (19:05 GMT).

On her own future, she said: “I’ve always said at the end of it, I will reflect and say ‘is it right for me and is it right for the players?’

“I’ve known some of these players since I was 14. Me coming in has just made it easier for them to just concentrate on playing football.

“We wanted to express ourselves on the pitch, trying to be fluid and free and there were loads of goalscoring moments. We pretty much had five forwards on the pitch.”

Marley hopes that an expected sell-out crowd in Essex will prove as noisy as the flag-waving, trumpet-blowing 10,029 fans at Banks’s Stadium.

“It’s inspirational,” she added. “It’s freezing cold, it’s Friday night and it means a lot of commitment from a lot of parents and schoolteachers.

“But the players absolutely love it. They really buzz off the energy round the stadium. You walk out and see that and it gives them an extra 10 or 15%.”

Houghton said: “We knew that Bosnia were going to be deep and defend for their lives. It was good to win by more than one goal. It was about time that I scored for England.”

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