VIDEO: Young Lions see off Aussies
Friday, 27 August, 2010
Good win for U17s in front of a healthy crowd at Grimsby.
David Pye at Blundell Park
Click here to watch video highlights of the game.
England won their first game of The FA International U17 Tournament with a convincing 4-0 win over Australia in Grimsby tonight to leapfrog Portugal at the top of the group.
Goals from Matthias Fanimo, Courtney Meppen Walters, Raheem Sterling and Nick Powell secured victory for John Peacock’s team and all four strikes were memorable.
A healthy crowd of more than 2,000 got behind the England youngsters from the start and the home team had an early chance to test their Antipodean visitors when Fanimo tried his luck with a shot from distance that rose just too high over the bar a few minutes in.
Manchester United youngster Luke Hendrie went a lot closer on nine minutes, however, just unable to twist his neck enough to direct a header from eight yards into the top corner.
West Ham United starlet Fanimo proved a real handful for the Australians, while the visitors were kept largely quiet by England’s back-line - their first real effort on 18 minutes when Dylan Tombides lashed a long-distance effort over Ben Garrett’s bar.
At the other end, England caused problems again when some quick feet and trickery from Alex Henshall on the left wing bamboozled his marker before his dangerous low cross was hacked behind for a corner at the near post on 22 minutes.
England kept plugging away in an entertaining first half hour and Tibbles had to be alert at his near post again when Morgan fired a shot on the turn.
The Blundell Park crowd sensed a goal might be coming and it duly arrived six minutes before half-time. England had their goal and it was a superb strike from Fanimo.
He picked up the ball on the right, cut inside on his left foot and unleashed a rasper that beat Tibbles and crashed in off the far post. It was no more than the wide man had deserved after a lively first-half.
Peacock’s boys doubled their lead just two minutes later and it was an equally impressive strike from Meppen Walters.
A free-kick from the right by Hendrie wasn’t dealt with and ended up with the unmarked Meppen Walters, who still had work to do, but finished with an unerring low left-footer from an acute angle to beat the retreating defenders on the line.
Both sides made changes for the second half, England bringing on Sterling, Powell and Max Clayton for Fanimo, Nat Chalobah and Jordan Cousins.
And it could have been 3-0 just 90 seconds after the restart, had Henshall’s dipping free-kick not glanced off the top of the bar instead of finding the top corner.
Two minutes later, it was three and it was a fine individual goal by Sterling with virtually his first touch as he ran from 35 yards to drill a fine effort across Tibbles from just inside the box.
The Liverpool midfielder showed he has pace to burn with a similarly electric run to play a one-two with Meppen Walters, but this time Tibbles did well to dive and block Sterling’s shot close in.
Two more changes on 56 minutes for Peacock’s side saw Ellis Plummer and Robbie Cotton on for Matty Regan and Jake Caskey. Then, Hallam Hope replaced the hard-working Morgan up front for the final 16 minutes.
Seconds later, and England could have had a fourth – again the top of the bar coming to Australia’s rescue from Sam Magri’s towering header from a corner.
They may have been largely on the back-foot but credit goes to Jan Versleijen’s team who kept going and almost had a goal back on 67 minutes but Anthony Proia’s close-range header went narrowly wide of the mark.
England also continued to create chances and another fine save from Tibbles saw him tip over Powell’s header with five minutes remaining.
Then the substitute did get his name on the scoresheet with a sweet free-kick from 20 yards in stoppage time to seal the win.
It’s now perfectly set up for final game against Portugal, who lost 3-2 to Turkey earlier in the day, in Scunthorpe on Sunday.
England U17: Garrett, Regan (Plummer 56), Cousins (Clayton 46), Magri, Chalobah (Powell 46), Hendrie, Caskey (Cotton 56), Walters,
Morgan (Hope 64), Fanimo (Sterling 46), Henshall. Subs not used:- Pickford.
Head Coach: John Peacock.
Australia U17: Tibbles, Monaco, Chapman, Morton (Gallifuoco 80), Brown, Perkatis, Espindola (Degenek 46), Boahene (Melling 56), Proia, Patterson, Tombides (Makarounas 46). Subs not used:- Chapple, Remington, Izzo.
Head Coach: Jan Versleijen.
Referee: Rob Shoebridge (Derbyshire FA)