England U20s had to settle for a draw against Canada when they fell foul to Jordan Hamilton’s stoppage-time equaliser at Goldsands Stadium.
Aidy Bothroyd’s side twice took the lead through Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom and then, with five minutes remaining, through Bournemouth boy and debutant Baily Cargill.
England 2-2 Canada
Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth
Wednesday 12 November 2014
But the Young Lions lost their shape when defending a set-piece and Hamilton capitalised for the Canucks, and will regret not making more of their dominance of possession.
It was a night of two homecomings as Bournemouth defender Cargill was handed his international bow – and was given a rapturous welcome by the home crowd. Surrey-born Canada head coach Rob Gale meanwhile was joined by family including his sister Karen, who is married to England U17s head coach John Peacock.
England had an early wake-up call when Manny Aparicio came off his wing and darted on to a through ball between the England centre-halves. He raced into the area but his tame finish dribbled wide of Christy Pym’s right-hand post.
Canada looked a strong side, with pace in wide areas, but England had the crowd on their feet on occasions early on, and looked particularly dangerous on the left flank.
They took the lead on 15 minutes when Lewis Baker’s corner was only partially cleared, and the ball landed at the feet of his Chelsea team-mate John Swift, on the edge of the Canada 'D'.
Swift lined up a shot but then feinted and spread the ball wide to Baker, whose near-post cross fell perfectly for Akpom to head home.
England lost Manchester City defender Shay Facey to injury on 23 minutes with Dominic Ball coming on, but continued to attack, with Swift whipping a fearsome cross to the far post that Akpom could not quite direct on target.
Akpom went close again on 35 minutes, when Exeter City’s Matty Grimes made headway on the right and crossed, although the Arsenal forward’s header was close but flashed narrowly wide.
England were in total control, but were given further food for thought when they lost another defender, Liverpool’s Lloyd Jones, to a knock. Gillingham’s Wolves loanee Kortney Hause came on shortly before the break.
Boothroyd shuffled his pack again at half-time by bringing on Harrison Reed for his Southampton team-mate Matt Targett. Reed dropped into midfield and Paul Digby slotted in at right-back, with Hause at left-back.
Reed wasted no time getting in on the action, forcing a superb finger-tip save from Marco Carducci with a fierce drive from the edge of the area.
But Canada counter-attacked with great purpose down the right, and QPR winger Michael Petrasso was allowed to race half the length of the pitch before slotting past Pym to equalise.
Boothroyd committed to chasing the win on the hour mark when he introduced Josh Murph, Jordon Ibe, James Wilson and Kwame Thomas – all attack-minded players – with Akpom among those to made way.
England struggled to make an impact on the latter stages, maintaining possession but struggling to get enough players into forward positions.
But Cargill made his intentions clear when he came close with a header from a partially cleared cross, and then put England into the lead with an emphatic header.
It counted for little though, when deep into added time Pym failed to gather Hanson Boakal’s free-kick and Jordan Hamilton fired into the empty net.
England return to action on Monday when they take on Portugal in Coimbra.
England (4-3-3): 1 Christy Pym (Exeter City); 2 Shay Facey (Manchester City), 5 Lloyd Jones (Liverpool), 6 Baily Cargill (Bournemouth), 3 Matt Targett (Southampton); 8 Paul Digby (Barnsley), 4 Lewis Baker (capt, Chelsea), 10 Josh Harrop (Manchester United); 7 Matt Grimes (Exeter City), 9 Chuba Akpom (Arsenal), 11 John Swift (Rotherham United, on loan from Chelsea).
Substitutes: 12 Dominic Ball (Tottenham Hotspur) for Facey 23; 14 Kortney Hause (Gillingham, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers) for Jones 45; 15 Harrison Reed (Southampton) for Targett ht; 16 Josh Murphy (Norwich City) for Baker 61; 17 Jordon Ibe (Derby County, on loan from Liverpool) for Swift 61; 18 James Wilson (Manchester United) for Akpom 61; 19 Kwame Thomas (Derby County) for Harrop 61.
Substitutes not used: 13 Christian Walton (GK, Brighton & Hove Albion), 22 Joe Wildsmith (GK, Sheffield Wednesday).
Goals: Akpom 15, Cargill 85.
Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd
Canada (4-1-4-1): 18 Marco Carducci; 13 Jordan Haynes, 6 Luca Gasparotto, 14 Alexander Comsia, 3 Sam Adekugbe (capt); 8 Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare; 15 Manny Aparicio, 16 Kianz Froese, 10 Dylan Carreiro, 11 Michael Petrasso; 9 Sadi Jalali.
Substitutes: 2 Marco Bustos for Aparicio 75; 19 Jordan Hamilton for Jalali 75, 7 Louis Beland-Goyett for Froese 83, 4 Hanson Boakal for Adekugbe 90, 12 Rares Serban for Carreiro.
Substitutes not used: 1 Nolan Wirth, 17 Marko Aleksic.
Goals: Petrasso 48, Hamilton 90.
Head coach: Rob Gale.
Referee: Simon Hooper (England)
Assistant referees: Daniel Cook and Richard Martin (England)
Watch highlights from the game at the Goldsands Stadium