Charlie Wakefield nets as England get their Victory Shield campaign off to winning start
England U16s 1-0 Wales U16s
The Sky Sports Victory Shield
7.35pm, Friday 4 October 2013
Aggborough Stadium, Kidderminster Harriers FC
Live on Sky Sports
Kenny Swain’s England U16s got their Victory Shield campaign off to a winning start with a 1-0 win over Wales in Kidderminster.
A first-half strike from Chelsea's Charlie Wakefield was enough to seal victory in front of a vocal crowd of 2,702 on Friday night.
In a competition that has previously featured stars such as Michael Owen, who was in attendance, Joe Cole and Wayne Rooney, a large crowd gathered at Aggborough Stadium to see the Young Lions kick-off their defence of the Shield.
England Under-21s Head Coach Gareth Southgate and development coaches John Peacock and Noel Blake were also in attendance, along with Sir Trevor Brooking (FA Director of Football Development), Dan Ashworth (Director of Elite Development) and Adrian Bevington (Managing Director of Club England), and were keen to cast their eye over the latest batch of English youngsters.
The match started in a lively fashion with both no.9s keen to show what they could do, but the woodwork was to thwart them both.
England’s Kaylen Hinds collected the ball on the edge of the area, taking a touch before curling a strike with the inside of his right boot towards the bottom corner, but unfortunately for the hosts his effort struck the outside of the post on four minutes.
Seconds after preventing them, the woodwork came to the Young Lions rescue when captain Ro-Shaun Oman Williams was caught napping on the ball inside the box. Welsh striker Tyler Roberts managed to pounce to fire goalwards but this time Williams was relieved to see the ball cannon back off the upright.
England did manage to get the ball in the net just before the ten-minute mark, Liam Bell knocking home from three yards after 'keeper Kelland Absalom had fumbled a Wakefield effort, but the assistant referee on the far side had his flag raised and the teams remained deadlocked.
With perhaps a few early nerves in both defences, the game began to settle down as the half wore on and goalscoring chances proved to be scarce for a fifteen minute spell, but the contest burst back into life with half-time approaching.
First it was the Welsh who found a way through the home defence on 33 minutes as Nyasha Mwamuka brought a save from Ryan Sandford after good work from Elijah Chilekwa down the right. But England went one better just two minutes later as they took the lead thanks to the magic of winger Wakefield.
The no.7 picked up possession out on the left wing and cut inside towards goal, skipping past one defender then another before striking goalwards, the ball taking a slight nick along the way, to give his side the lead heading into the break.
Both sides took the opportunity to make changes at the turn-around, with Swain introducing Ben Sheaf and Layton Ndukwu into the fold in place of William Patching and Liam Bell, and Wales bringing on Keiran Evans to replace Nyasha Mwamuka as they looked to get themselves back on level terms.
And just four minutes into the second-half they were almost level, striker Roberts bursting through towards goal, taking the ball past the defence before unleashing a right foot piledriver, but England stopper Sandford was able to push the ball wide for a corner.
The tempo of the match slowed down with more changes coming for both side. England began to keep possession, tempting the Welsh defence forward as they planned their attack.
Layton Ndukwu had a chance soon after coming on, hitting a smart turn and shot from the edge of the area on 55 minutes, but Absalom was able to parry the ball wide for a corner.
Man of the match Wakefield was soon back in the attacking mix as he fired over on 58 minutes from the right of the area, but just five minutes later England had a great opportunity to double their advantage as Ndukwu was fouled by Cameron Coxe. It left the referee with no option but to point to the spot.
Up stepped Hinds, firing to the keeper's right, but his spot-kick was saved by Absalom as personal duel was about to begin between the pair. Not to be deterred by his miss, Hinds was soon back in the thick of it, and looked to have made amends just moments later.
From a tight angle on the left side of the six-yard box, he showed great composure to hit the ball with the outside of his foot past the keeper as it looked to be rolling in, but a fantastic last ditch clearance on the line from Sam Williams prevented him.
With the clock ticking down, and determined to get himself on the scoresheet, the lively Hinds powered through again on goal, taking a touch to his left on the edge of the 18-yard box and firing towards bottom corner, but once more Absalom was on hand to deny him with a save low to his right.
Northern Ireland will be England’s next opponents in The Victory Shield on Friday 8 November at Bournemouth FC.
1 Ryan Sandford, 2 James Yates, 3 Benjamin Cull (17 Darnell Johnson 65 mins), 4 Tom Davies, 5 Ro-Shaun Oman Williams (C), 6 Reece Oxford (15 Danny Collinge 55 mins), 7 Charlie Wakefield, 8 William Patching (12 Ben Sheaf 40 mins), 9 Kaylen Hinds, 10 Adam Phillips (16 Jonathan Leko 55 mins), 11 Liam Bell (14 Layton Ndukwu 40 mins)
Subs not used: 13 Connor King
1 Kelland Absalom, 2 Cameron Coxe, 3 Rhys Abbruzzese, 4 Ryan Harrington, 5 Jack Challis (C), 6 Sam Williams, 7 Elijah Chilekwa (18 Liam Cullen 65 mins), 8 Joe McNulty, 9 Tyler Roberts, 10 Nathan Broadhead (14 Ben Keating 60 mins), 11 Nyasha Mwamuka (16 Keiran Evans 40 mins)
Subs not used
12 Rhys Williams, 13 Aaron Lewis, 15 Jack Evans, 17 Morgan Jones