Stuart Pearce's team hit five past Norway on a chilly night in Sandefjord.
Norway 0-5 England
Under-21 International Match
Komplett.no Arena, Sandefjord, Norway
5.30pm (GMT), Friday 27 March 2009
England ran out comfortable winners on a chilly night in Norway, with a result that will help warm them up ahead of this summer's European Championship.
A Matt Derbyshire second-half brace in his first Under-21s outing since August added to earlier goals from Frazier Campbell, Adam Johnson and Tom Huddlestone to give England a 5-0 win over a young Norwegian side.
The snow had been falling in Sandefjord since Thursday night and it was always going to be a battle against the elements for the groundstaff, who continued to work on the pitch, clearing snow, right up to kick-off.
But the Norwegians seem unfazed by the heavy snowfall, the roads, like the pitch, were being cleared soon after the snow began.
England will return to Scandinavia for the UEFA Championship Finals, but it's unlikely to be in the same extreme conditions, however.
After settling into their surroundings, England looked to control the early exchanges, with Tottenham trio Jamie O'Hara, Huddlestone and Campbell in the thick of things.
O'Hara's solo run into the box, earned England an early corner, while Huddlestone's ball moments later through to Campbell set the striker clear, but he dragged his left-foot shot wide of the far post.
But Campbell made no mistake on 17 minutes when Huddlestone again played him into space inside the box. This time on the other side, his right foot shot was hard at Lasse Staw's goal from 15 yards. And although he got behind it, the orange ball squirmed under the body of the 'keeper and found its way over the line.
It was the 21-year-old's third goal for The Three Lions, all coming in the last three matches.
Campbell could have had two more goals in a five minute spell dominated by Pearce's side as they found space in the Norwegian defence.
Johnson gave him another chance to run at goal, beating Staw to the ball, but his toe-poke rolled past the 'keeper and the post. He then blazed over from ten yards, but you could sense more chances coming England's way.
At the other end, Joe Hart was largely a spectator, illustrated no better than by the groundsman who began clearing snow from around his goal area while play was going on.
But he and Nedum Onuoha were called into action midway through the first half, both bravely blocking goalbound shots, before David Wheater cleared the danger.
And soon, England doubled their advantage. A free-kick just inside the Norway half was played towards Onuoha near the penalty spot. The skipper brought the ball down and, with his back to goal, rolled out to the unmarked Johnson, five yards away to the left. Middlesbrough winger Johnson, who scored against Ecuador last month, had time to compose himself, driving his first-time left-foot strike inside the far post.
During the break, the groundstaff worked quickly to clear almost the entire pitch onto which came three England changes, with Pearce pushing a second striker, Derbyshire, up with Campbell, while Michael Mancienne and Kieran Gibbs also came on. Onuoha, Fabrice Muamba and Andrew Taylor made way.
And Derbyshire had the ball in the net inside two minutes, diverting Huddlestone's low shot from the edge of the area past Staw. But the linesman's flag denied the Olympiacos forward.
Derbyshire had two other opportunities inside a minute. First a James Milner cross from the right was just too quick for his outstretched boot sliding in six yards out, then Johnson's delivery from the left was directed over the bar. He was soon to find the net though.
But first Huddlestone, one of England's star performers on the night, had a pot shot from 25 yards that beat Staw and made it 3-0 to the visitors with 73 minutes gone.
Then two goals in a minute from Derbyshire put an impressive shine on a very solid England display.
The first, running onto Mancienne's through ball into the box, Derbyshire slotted in to the left hand corner. Then Milner, with a carbon-copy delivery that had earlier evaded the striker, was this time converted well.
England looked good for their victory, with all 17 travelling squad members getting a run-out, including a second cap for Watford 'keeper Loach. A winning return to these parts in the summer would be even better.
1 Lasse Staw, 2 Magne Simonsen (14 Hakon Skogseid, 46), 3 Havard Nordtveit, 4 Vegard Forren, 5 Joachim Thomassen, 6 Christer Kleiven (15 Peter Orry Larsen, 62), 7 Ruben Y Jensen, 8 Erling Knudtzon (18 Cato Hansen, 72), 9 Jonathan Parr (17 Espen Borufsen, 72), 10 Aram Khalili (10 Magnus Lekven, 88), 11 Tarik Elyounossi
Substitutes not used
12 Andre Hansen, 13 Agim Shabani, 16 Magnus Lekven
1 Joe Hart (13 Scott Loach, 78), 2 Craig Gardner, 3 Andrew Taylor (14 Kieran Gibbs, 46), 4 Fabrice Muamba (15 Michael Mancienne, 46), 5 David Wheater, 6 Nedum Onuoha (c) (16 Matt Derbyshire, 46), 7 Lee Cattermole (17 James Milner, 67), 8 Tom Huddlestone, 9 Fraizer Campbell, 10 Jamie O'Hara (12 Martin Cranie, 78), 11 Adam Johnson
England goals: Campbell 17, Johnson 29, Huddlestone 73, Derbyshire 78, 80
Referee Babak Rafati (Germany
Assistant Referees Marco Fritz and Robert Kempfer (both Germany)
Fourth Official Ken H Johnsen (Norway)