England U16s suffered a disappointing start to their Sky Sports Victory Shield campaign – losing 1-0 to Wales in tricky conditions in Bangor.
The Young Lions, playing their first match under new head coach Steve Cooper, enjoyed long spells of possession but were undone by a scrappy second-half goal from Liam Angel, on a night of swirling winds and driving rain close to the Menai Straits.
Wales U16s 1-0 England
Sky Sports Victory Shield
Book People Stadium
Bangor City FC
Friday 31 October 2014
The opening exchanges were cagey, with each sides’ best early chances coming from free-kicks. Wales’s effort hit the wall, and while England and Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount struck his set-piece well, it sailed just over.
Tottenham Hotspur winger Keanan Bennetts looked lively on the right for England, but the first real chance fell to Wales. Taye Ashby-Hammond raced off his line to close down a Wales attack, but the rebound fell dangerously and the Fulham keeper breathed a sigh of relief as the follow-up shot flew wide.
Soon after Wales had a goal ruled out for offside, although England were offering plenty of threat themselves.
England right-back Dujon Sterling did exceptionally well before firing a low cross towards Martell Taylor-Crossdale, but the Chelsea striker’s effort was brilliantly saved by Scott Coughlin, and Mount could not score from the loose ball.
Cooper made one change at half-time, bringing on Lewis Thompson for Japhet Tanganga, but England were given more food for thought when Wales took the lead three minutes later.
Ashby-Hammond punched from a corner but could not clear adequately, and after a brief scramble, Cardiff City man Angel fired home.
England regrouped well and camped in the Wales half, but the elements played their part in keeping clearcut chances to a minimum.
Cooper will now look to help his side regroup before they face Northern Ireland in Dungannon next Friday.
They have to wait until Thursday 20 November to play their first and final match on home soil, against Scotland at Yeovil Town’s Huish Park.
Tickets at Yeovil are priced £3 for adults, £1 concessions and can be purchased by calling 01935 847888 or e-mailing email@example.com.
Wales: 1 Scott Coughlan (Cardiff City); 2 Cole Dasilva (Chelsea), 3 Ben Williams (Blackburn Rovers), 4 Liam Angel (Cardiff City), 5 Daniel Jefferies (Swansea City), 6 Max Smallcombe (Exeter City), 7 Keiron Proctor (Cardiff City), 8 Matty Smith (Manchester City), 9 Tyler Roberts(captain; West Bromwich Albion), 10 Ben Woodburn (Liverpool), 11 Liam Cullen (Swansea City).
Substitutes: 12 Adam Przybek (West Bromwich Albion), 13 Theo Llewellyn (Bristol City), 14 Joe Lewis (Swansea City), 15 Ibby Sosani (Cardiff City), 16 Sam Phillips (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 17 Ethan Ampadu (Exeter City), 18 Keiran Evans (Swansea City).
Goal: Angel 43.
England (4-3-3): 1 Taye Ashby-Hammond (Fulham); 2 Dujon Sterling (Chelsea), 5 Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham Hotspur), 6 Tolaji Bola (Arsenal), 3 Vashon Neufville (West Ham United); 8 Charlie Gilmour (Arsenal), 4 Callum Slattery (Southampton), 10 Mason Mount (Chelsea); 7 Keanan Bennetts (Tottenham Hotspur), 9 Martell Taylor-Crossdale (Chelsea), 11 Jonathan Leko (West Bromwich Albion).
Substitutes: 12 Lewis Thompson (Manchester United) for Tanganga ht; 14 Mackenzie Heaney (Newcastle United) for Bennetts 55; 15 Sadou Diallo (Manchester City) for Gilmour; 16 Okera Simmonds (Liverpool) for Taylor-Crossdale 75.
Substitutes not used: 13 Ryan Sandford (GK; Millwall).
Head coach: Steve Cooper
Referee: Gwynne Vaughan