Goals from Jon Shaw and Russell Penn led the Three Lions to victory over Barbados on Monday night.
Barbados 0-2 England
The National Stadium, Bridgetown
Monday 2 June 2008
England C followed up their impressive performance in Grenada with a victory over Barbados on a warm Caribbean evening at the National Stadium in Bridgetown.
Manager Paul Fairclough made five changes to his starting line-up and handed a first cap to Ebbsfleet United’s James Smith as the game began at a good pace on a less than impressive surface.
It was the home side who were making the early running, but England gradually took control again by playing a controlled passing game and making their opponents do the chasing.
However, the first real opportunity went to Barbados after 13 minutes with Marshall shooting narrowly over the bar from 30 yards.
Three minutes later, England took the lead following a swift passing movement involving Andy Burgess, Lewis Chalmers and Michael Morrison and as the ball moved out to the right, Russell Penn sent in a good cross which took a deflection off a defender and looped into the net from the shoulder of Halifax Town’s John Shaw. A rather fortuitous goal, but nothing less than the side deserved following their bright opening to the game.
The lead was almost increased after 23 minutes following a slip by Straker which allowed Shaw to surge down the left and as he cut in on goal, he played the ball back to Penn whose shot was saved by Eastmond in the home goal. Shaun Harrad did find the net two minutes later but his effort was ruled offside.
England began the second half as they had the first, pushing forward at every opportunity.
On the hour mark, a free kick from Burgess was met by Morrison whose powerful header crashed against the bar and was scrambled to safety by the home defence, and two minutes later Harrad curled a great shot just over the bar.
The second goal, which would effectively kill off the game, arrived after 65 minutes when a Burgess corner was headed clear by Skeete but only as far as Penn on the edge of the box. He took one touch before rifling the ball into the net through a crowd of players.
The crowd were appreciative of the play from the England side and roared their approval when Harrad, Burgess and John Brayford all provided some solo magic.
With England in control, they took their foot of the gas a little but the only opportunity of note for Barbados was a free-kick from Jeffrey Williams which skimmed Adam Bartlett’s bar.
The visitors almost grabbed a third in the final minute as Harrad surged forward onto a flick from Steve Morrison and as the home keeper advanced, the ball ran free to Harrad whose stab from five yards somehow hit the post and went wide.
It was another very professional performance from the side who have won six of the seven games played during the season, whilst scoring 12 and conceding only two in the process.
“We have come to the Caribbean and played two skilful sides which we have more than matched,” said Fairclough after the game.
“We were the stronger team both physically and mentally in both games. We hit the woodwork twice to add to the six strikes on Saturday.
“This has been a great season for the team but we are sad to lose Lewis Chalmers, Ben Harding and Dean Moxey from the squad and we wish them well as they progress into the Football League with their clubs.
“There may well be others that move on during the summer but hopefully we will retain the nucleus of the squad as we move into the final phase of the International Challenge Trophy. We have a vital qualifying game in Italy in November when a draw will see us into next year’s final.” England:
Adam Bartlett (Kidderminster Harriers), John Brayford (Burton Albion), Michael Morrison (Cambridge United), James Smith (Ebbsfleet United (
Wayne Hatswell (Cambridge United), 85)
, Kevin Nicholson (Torquay United), Andy Burgess (Rushden & Diamonds), Russell Penn (Kidderminster Harriers), Lewis Chalmers (Aldershot Town) (
Daniel Gleeson (Cambridge United), 75)
, Mitchell Cole (Stevenage Borough) (
Martyn Woolford (York City) 67)
, Jon Shaw (Halifax Town) (
Steve Morison (Stevenage Borough), 77)
, Shaun Harrad (Burton Albion)Sub not used:
Scott Tynan (Northwich Victoria).Attendance: