ENGLAND's miserable form continued as a pair of defensive errors condemned them to a 2-0 friendly defeat to Canada in Stoke, writes Tom Harle.

Demi Stokes got caught in possession as Evelyn Viens opened the scoring on two minutes and Karen Bardsley failed to clear off her line to hand the Canucks a second on a plate three minutes from time.

The Lionesses have now list nine of their last 14 games, a run stretching back to the 2019 World Cup that interim head coach Hege Riise has been unable to halt. 

If this was a chance to impress Riise and audition for one of 18 places on Team GB for Tokyo 2020, few took it with the notable exceptions of Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway.

England were caught cold after two minutes and 30 seconds when Viens came from an offside position, nudged Stokes off the ball and stabbed past Carly Telford.

The hosts settled into dominant patterns of possession with Stanway breaking energetically from midfield.

The Manchester City lynchpin came close to catching Canada keeper Stephanie Labbe from fully 40 yards and then drove wide two minutes later.

Stanway’s central midfield partner Jordan Nobbs had England’s best first-half chance on the half-hour mark when Labbe tipped her free-kick onto the crossbar.

Deanne Rose proved a tricky customer for Riise’s back four to deal with and she led a counter-attack that ended when Quinn’s well-directed shot forced Telford into a save.

Ella Toone was introduced in place of Fran Kirby at the break and that seemed to help the Lionesses open up space between the lines, with Bethany England flicking a header on target in the opening minutes of the second half.

Substitute Prince came on for Rose and provided the same threat, engineering room to plant an effort on target that failed to test Telford.

Lucy Bronze repelled two Canada set-pieces and Nobbs broke with searing pace down the right flank, finding Toone with a looping cross that the attacking midfielder couldn't control.

Lauren Hemp remained a threat on the left and the Manchester United star skinned right-back Ashley Lawrence but her low delivery eluded onrushing team-mates.

Livewire Hemp nicked possession deep in Canada territory and drove into the box where Vanessa Giles made a telling recovering challenge to prevent the winger from scoring.

Prince pressed energetically in the closing stages and was rewarded when she slid in before Karen Bardsley could clear to wrap up the result.