A 1-0 win over Scotland clinches schoolboy tournament for the twelfth straight year
England U16s 1-0 Scotland
Sky Sports Victory Shield
7.35pm, Thursday 29 November 2012
Pirelli Stadium, Burton Albion FC
by James Marshall in Burton
England won the Victory Shield for a twelfth consecutive season following a 1-0 win over Scotland at Burton Albion.
After wins over Northern Ireland (5-0) and Wales (1-0), Kenny Swain’s Young Lions needed just a point to retain the schoolboy tournament for another year.
And things looked to be heading for a stalemate until MK Dons youngster Giorgio Rasulo popped up deep into added time to curl home a late, late winner.
As with all England v Scotland fixtures it was a hugely competitive affair with both teams creating chances in the opening 40 minutes.
The hosts started the game quickly and were unlucky not to take the lead in the opening moments when Joshua Onomah saw a header flash wide of the far post after a great cross by right-back Mandela Egbo.
Both sides enjoyed their fair share of possession in the first-half and England had to be wary of Scotland's speedy counter-attacking play with Calvin Miller and Greg Kiltie looking sharp up front for Mark Wotte's side.
Half chances fell to Onomah and captain Jordan Rossiter but neither were able to find a way past the well-oiled Scotland defence.
On the stroke of half-time Fulham's Patrick Roberts came closest to opening the scoring when his shot was cleared virtually off the line by Michael Kelly.
Early in the second half, Onomah rose well inside the box but his downward header failed to properly trouble the impressive Scotland ‘keeper Robby McCrorie.
Demetri Mitchell then tried his luck with a left-foot shot from 20 yards, but McCrorie gathered comfortably once more.
Ryan Ledson and substitute Brandon Fox both went close on the hour mark and Scotland might have won the game in the first minute of added time, only for Ryan Huddart to save well from Ryan Hardie.
Stoke City striker and Victory Shield legend Michael Owen was among the 2,000-strong crowd and he would have been impressed with the technical ability demonstrated by both sides.
But the game really came to life in the four minutes of added time as both sides sought a dramatic late winner.
First, Celtic forward Joe Thomson could have given the Scots a share of the Shield but he was denied by a fantastic save from Ryan Huddart in the England goal.
And it was left to Rasulo to clinch the Shield, and a third straight win this season, in the final minute.
Good work from substitute Callum Cooke on the left allowed him to burst into the box, where he attempted a one-two with Rasulo. Ryan Caird slid in to block, but the ball rolled invitingly to Rasulo who curled the loose ball into the far corner.
1 Ryan Huddart, 2 Mandela Egbo, 3 Jay Dasilva, 4 Ryan Ledson (14 Daniel Pybus, 67), 5 Joseph Gomez (15 Tosin Adarabioyo, 41), 6 Tom Brewitt, 7 Patrick Roberts (12 Giorgio Rasulo, 41), 8 Jordan Rossiter (C), 9 Joshua Onomah, 10 Mukhtar Ali (18 Brandon Fox, 65), 11 Demetri Mitchell (16 Callum Cooke, 58).
Substitutes not used 13 Bradley Collins, 17 Tafari Moore.