England moved moved a step closer to next year's Fifa Women's World Cup with a 2-0 victory over Switzerland in the first leg of their play-off at Shrewsbury last night. An important win for the hosts was made even more memorable when striker Kelly Smith struck home her side's second goal just before half-time to become her country's all-time leading goalscorer.
Fara Williams had opened the scoring only minutes earlier, after Smith's shot had been well blocked by goalkeeper Mariss Brunner.
But Smith's milestone moment was not far away as she collected a sliding pass from Williams just inside the area to score her 41st goal in England colours.
England's impressive 2-0 half-time lead was no more than they deserved after they twice hit the crossbar in the space of 15 seconds with first Rachel Yankey and then Eni Aluko denied as the home team pressed forward.
Although England continued to dominate, they were unable to provide the cushion of a third goal. However, they will be firm favourites to progress ahead of the return leg in Wohlen on Thursday night.
England: Scott, Stoney, Unitt, White (c), Chapman, Scott, Williams, Yankey (Clarke 89), Aluko, Smith, Brown.
Switzerland: Brunner, Graf, Keller, Moser (Meyer 62), Maendly, Bachmann (Crnogorcevic 76), Dickenmann (c), Beney (Kuster 80), Abbe, Remund, Zumbuhl.