England U16s recorded their first win in the 2014 Sky Sports Victory Shield after a 1-0 victory in Northern Ireland.
Steve Cooper's side sealed the win in the first half thanks to a brilliantly struck free-kick from young Ipswich Town midfielder Andre Dozzell.
After a cagey opening, England began to take control of the ball and create chances down both flanks.
Northern Ireland 0-1 England
Sky Sports Victory Shield
Friday 7 November 2014
Stangmore Park, Dungannon
The Young Lions defence was handling the long ball offense from the hosts well, restricting the opposition to very little chances and almost taking the lead through Okera Simmonds, but the striker dragged his shot wide after finding space inside the area.
Then on 34 minutes their moment arrived. Having been awarded a free kick 25 yards out centrally, Dozzell strode forward to hit a wonderful strike past the keeper to break the deadlock.
Into the second-half and Northern Ireland began to rally as England suffered a few nervy moments at the back, but some strong defending and a lack of a clinical finisher ensured that the one-goal advantage was preserved.
After controlling the rhythm of play for the opening 40 minutes, the second period was a bit of a stop-start affair as the visitors had to show their fighting spirit to earn the points – with shotstopper Ryan Sandford producing a fine fingertip save in the closing moments.
Although they did not create as much they had in the first half, the Young Lions almost doubled their winning margin late through goalscorer Dozzell – but his volley from inside the area was well saved by the goalkeeper.
Next up for the Young Lions is a home fixture against Scotland in Yeovil on Thursday 20 November.
England: 1 Ryan Sandford, 2 Dujon Sterling, 3 Jaden Brown, 4 Andre Dozzell, 5 Trevoh Chalobah (C), 6 Lewis Thompson, 7 Adam Lewis, 8 Sadou Diallo, 9 Okera Simmonds, 10 Tom Bishiru, 11 Mackenzie Heaney
Subs: 12 Japhet Tanganga for Chalobah (60), 15 Dan N'Lundulu for Simmonds (68), 16 Joe Willock for Heaney (68)
Subs not used: 13 Tay Ashby Hammond, 14 Keanan Bennetts, 17 Nial Ennis, 18 Jay Beckford
Goal: Dozzell (34)
Head coach: Steve Cooper