Young Lions hit Montenegro for six in Elite Round opener

Saturday 24 May 2014
Lewis Baker (c) scored from the penalty spot against Montenegro

A Jordon Ibe hat-trick helped England U19s get their Elite Qualifying Round off to a perfect start with a resounding 6-0 victory over Montenegro in Walsall.

The Liverpool youngster scored either side of goals from Chelsea’s Lewis Baker, Southampton striker Sam Gallagher and Aston Villa’s Callum Robinson - as Noel Blake’s side ran riot on a stormy afternoon in the West Midlands.

England U19s 6-0 Montenegro U19s

UEFA European U19 Championship
Elite Qualifying Round
3pm, Saturday 24 May 2014
Banks's Stadium, Walsall FC


At the end of a long season of League One action, and with the rain beating down in the West Midlands, both sides struggled to find a passing rhythm in the opening exchanges on a bobbly pitch – but it was England who settled quickest and created the game’s first big chance. 

The Southampton trio combined as Calum Chambers picked out Matt Targett on the left wing. The full-back swung in a near-perfect cross directly into the path of club team-mate Gallagher – who met the ball with a firm header and produced a great save from Suad Licina high to his right . 

Jovan Cadjenovic came close for Montenegro after a quarter-of-an-hour, but it flew just wide, taking a nick off an England defender on its way out for a corner.

But Montenegro’s attacking threat was limited to long-range shots and Christian Walton – making his first start for England – was largely untroubled throughout the first half, and indeed the match.

The Young Lions were knocking on the door and did not have to wait long to break the deadlock. With bolts of lightning visible across the darkening skies – Ibe broke the deadlock, albeit in somewhat fortuitous fashion. 

Sam Gallagher in action for England U19s.

Sam Gallagher was in impressive form and scored a goal


As he dribbled across the box, his low shot took a wicked deflection off a Montenegro defender – giving Licina no chance with the young stopper was left rooted to the spot as the ball flew into the bottom corner.

If Licina was powerless to stop the first, he will perhaps feel at fault for the second. Seemingly going nowhere and out of play, the quick feet of Josh Murphy drew a rash dive and he brought down the Norwich City forward inside the box. Baker stepped up to confidently fire home into the bottom right and England had doubled their lead.

After the break, the downpours that plagued the first half eased, the sun came out and shone down on the Banks’s Stadium as England scored the goal of the game and Blake’s men began to run riot. Gallagher picked up the ball at the edge of the box, played the ball out to Targett on the left who fired a low cross into directly into the path of Ibe who opened his body up and calmly fired home.

England U19s midfielder Callum Robinson.

Sub Callum Robinson scored a fine long-range goal


Gallagher went from provider to scorer four minutes later, as he capitlised on another error from Licina – who dropped a seemingly harmless cross directly as his feet, and although slightly mis-hitting his shot, it trickled in as two Montenegro defenders got in each other’s way in their attempts to clear it.

Three minutes later, England had made it five and Ibe had his much deserved hat-trick. Murphy, now back on the left, beat his man and chipped a perfect cross into Ibe’s path – and the Liverpool man poked home to cap a fine individual and collective England display.

Substitute Robinson made it 6-0 with a stunning long-range effort, to cap a perfect afternoon for England’s Young Lions.

Next up for the U19s is Scotland at Burton on Monday evening – knowing another victory would be a giant step towards winning the group and qualifying for the 2014 European Championship in Hungary.

England (4-1-2-3): 1 Christian Walton (Brighton & Hove Albion), 2 Calum Chambers (Southampton), 3 Matthew Targett (Southampton), 4 Lewis Baker (Chelsea), 5 Lloyd Jones (Liverpool), 6 Shay Facey (Manchester City), 7 Jordon Ibe (Liverpool), 8 John Swift (Chelsea), 10 Sam Gallagher (Southampton), 11 Joshua Murphy (Norwich City), 15 Ola Aina (Chelsea).

Substitutes 16 Brendon Galloway (MK Dons) for Jones (63), 18 Callum Robinson (Aston Villa) for Swift (63), 9 Chuba Akpom (Arsenal) for Gallagher (71).

Substitutes not used: 12 Devante Cole (Manchester City), 13 Cameron Dawson (Sheffield Wednesday), 14 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), 17 Harrison Reed (Southampton).

Goals: Ibe (27, 58, 65) Baker (52 pen), Gallagher (62) Robinson (90+2).

Bookings: Swift, Chambers.

Head coach: Noel Blake.

Montenegro (4-4-1-1): 1 Suad Licina, 2 Marko Kazic, (9 Boris Cmiljanic, 46) 4 Andrija Vukecvic, 5 Nemanja Cavnic, 6 Danilo Sarkic, 7 Zarko Grbovic, 10 Marko Jankovic, 11 Nebojsa Kosovic, 13 Jovan Cadjenovic (8 Marko Cosic, 75), 15 Jovan Baosic, 18 Nikola Vujnovic (17 Marko Ilincic, 56).

Substitutes: 3 Illija Tucevic, , 12 Marko Novovic, 14 Milos Milovic, 16 Vladan Karadzic.

Bookings: Sarkic, Cmiljanic, Jankovic.

Head coach: Aleksandar Miljenovic.

Attendance: 1,897.

By Jamie Reid Senior Writer at Banks's Stadium