Head Coach Brian Eastick had challenged his players to push on after watching them beat Ghana.
England 2-0 Ghana
U18 International Friendly
Tuesday 20 November 2007
Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham FC
England U18 Head Coach Brian Eastick saluted debutant Danny Drinkwater after the United midfielder came off the bench to score a sublime goal.
With England holding the narrowest of advantages at a damp Gillingham, Eastick sent on Drinkwater in the 67th minute and the replacement reaped rich dividends within 15 minutes.
After the excellent Daniel Gosling won possession and found Drinkwater 35 yards from goal, the super-sub jinked inside his minder before cuffing a shot with the outside of his boot into the far corner.
"I'm delighted that Drinks got on the scoresheet," said Eastick. "It was a great goal. He is a player we have been monitoring for some while and he acquitted himself very well, not just on the field but around the hotel too. Kieran Trippier was the same."
On a cold night in Kent England secured a confidence boosting win over a talented Ghana side who reached the Semi-Finals of the recent U17 World Cup in Korea - one phase further than the Three Lions.
Ghana were impressive in the Far East but on English soil the hosts were full value for their victory which could have been by a wider margin had there been a little more quality in front of goal.
Despite a number of shots going straight down the throat of Ghana keeper Joseph Addo, England still managed two goals - the first coming from Daniel Welbeck - and a welcome clean sheet.
"I thought it was a quality game of football," added Eastick. "In the first half we played some excellent football going forward. Ghana are a good team and they gave us a real test, but the players responded. It's always rewarding to keep a clean sheet too."
Eastick, who runs the U19 team as well, has promoted a number of U18 players this season, including Krystian Pearce, Jason Steele and Henri Lansbury. Joseph Mattock also featured for the U19s before being called into the U21 squad last week.
Eastick has challenged the current U18 players to follow their team-mates' footsteps and push for promotion.
"I'll sit down with Sir Trevor Brooking and Noel Blake and discuss who we think is good enough to bring up. There are some good players in this group."England:
1 Alex Smithies (13 Gary Woods, 46 mins), 2 Seth Nana Ofori-Twumasi (12 Kieran Trippier, 83 mins), 3 James Reid, 4 Daniel Gosling, 5 Jordan Spence (C), 6 Gavin Hoyte, Jonathan Franks (18 Tristan Plummer, 46 mins), 8 Daniel Rose (16 Steven Clancy, 80 mins), 9 Daniel Welbeck (14 Ashley Chambers, 72 mins), 10 Jay Thomas (15 Daniel Drinkwater, 67 mins), 11 Nathan Porritt (17 Medy Elito, 46 mins).Head Coach:
1 Joseph Addo (16 Robert Dabou, 90 mins), 4 Daniel Opare, 3 Paul Addo (C) (13 Meisure Alhassan, 72 mins), 12 Philip Boampong, 6 Mohammed Nortey Tetteh, 11 Abdul Naza Alhassan, 7 Abeiku Quansah (17 Richard Mpong, 77 mins), 8 Enock Kofi Adu (5 Francis Boadi, 65 mins), 14 Isaac Donker, 10 Ransford Osei, 9 Prince Attakora Gyimah (18 Kelvin Bossman, 60 mins).Subs not used:
16 Baba Sampana, 15 Eric Opoku, 2 Abdulai Seid.Head Coach:
White shirts, blue shorts, white socks.Goalkeeper:
Aubergine shirt, aubergine shorts, white socks.Ghana:
Red shirts, red shorts, black socks.Goalkeeper:
Green shirt, black shorts, black & white socks.
Ray LeeAssistant Referees:
John Pearce & Gary JerdenFourth Official: