Late winner downs Danes
Thursday, 10 November, 2011
Rob Hall strike defeats Denmark at Brighton's Amex Stadium.
By Nicholas Veevers at the Amex Stadium
England enjoyed a warm welcome back to home shores in Brighton on Thursday night, as a near 17,000 crowd saw their first game in England this season at the Amex Stadium and a well earned win for Noel Blake’s men.
Even though the game looked as though it may be heading for a draw, the carnival atmosphere inside the impressive new home of Brighton & Hove Albion remained in tact and they were duly given something to cheer with just over ten minutes to go when substitute Rob Hall struck home the winner.
It capped off a second-half performance in which the Young Lions deserved their victory against a well organised and strong Danish outfit and Blake will be more than happy with the work-out his players received as well as the atmosphere in which they had to perform.
After an immaculately observed minute’s silence, it was England who got the match underway and enjoyed some good early possession against a tall and strong Danish side.
England came the closest to opening the scoring too, when Nathaniel Chalobah rose highest in the box to glance Larnell Cole’s free-kick from the right just wide of the post after 12 minutes.
Denmark worked their way back into the game though and began to launch a series of attacks through the lively strike pairing of Nicolai Brock-Madsen and Andreus Cornelius and support from the midfield areas, but with Andre Wisdom and Chalobah in commanding form they often found their route to goal blocked.
Cornelius did have a half chance when he found space at the far post to meet Christoffer Remmer’s cross but directed his header high and wide of the target.
With half time approaching, Adam Morgan went on a maurauding run down the left, beating Remmer along the way before cutting a ball back for Harry Kane only to see a desperate foot from Kasper Lauren divert the danger.
Blake chose to make two changes at the break, with Todd Kane and George Thorne introduced in place of Jake Bidwell and Conor Coady and England started brightly again, with Ross Barkley testing Danish ‘keeper Jakob Busk Jensen with a snap-shot from just inside the area.
The two subs linked up well in the 53rd minute, as Kane’s deep cross from the right was worked on by Jon Flanagan into the path of Thorne. He then clipped a pass in to the box for Morgan, but Jensen was out quickly at the Liverpool man’s feet to smother the danger.
Cole then had the ball in the net after neatly collecting a cross from Morgan, but unfortunately the officials spotted a foul as the Manchester United winger rounded Riza Durmisi in the box and the goal was ruled out.
Another three changes followed and again, they combined within a minute of their introduction as Luke Williams’ low cross from the left was shot narrowly wide by Hall as England continued to look for the breakthrough goal.
Williams then tested Jensen himself after a Kane cross was only half cleared to the edge of the area, but a last ditch deflection took his effort safely into the ‘keeper’s hands.
With just over 15 minutes to play another of Blake’s subs, Aziz Deen Conteh, tried his luck after collecting Hall’s pass and smashing an angled effort at goal only for Jensen to get his fingertips to it and turn it over the bar.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 80th minute though, when Hall collected a Williams pass on the edge of the area before sharply turning and rifling home a low left-footer into the bottom corner to give the Sussex crowd just what they wanted.