Men's Under 21s
Men's Under 21s

Demarai Gray and Jake Clarke-Salter help England U21 win Cyrille Regis International

Saturday 24 Mar 2018
Demarai Gray and Jake Clarke-Salter helped England U21 to victory in the Cyrille Regis International

Captain Demarai Gray and Jake Clarke-Salter gave England U21s a narrow victory over Romania in the Cyrille Regis International at Molineux.

The game was dedicated to the former England, West Brom, Coventry and Wolves striker, who passed away in January this year.

And Gray opened the scoring in the first half before Clarke-Salter, who became captain after the Leicester midfielder had been substituted, sealed matters with a fine header.

England 2-1 Romania
  • Cyrille Regis International
  • 5.15pm, Saturday 24 March, 2018
  • Molineaux, Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • By Charlie Peat
Valentin Costache set up a tense finished with 11 minutes remaining but England held out to claim the victory.

On an emotional evening, England dominated proceedings and hit the front after just eight minutes through their skipper.

Kyle Walter-Peters and Ademola Lookman combined perfectly to play Gray into the penalty area and after wrong-footing the Romanian defenders, Gray’s effort deflected off Foxes team-mate Alexandru Pascanu and into the back of the net.


But Romania responded and could’ve been level on 25 minutes when striker Andrei Ivan’s effort rattled the post after taking the slightest tough off Clarke-Salter.

The visitors came close to equalising just before the break but Florinel Coman was unable to make the most of Ovie Ejaria losing the ball.

England knew they’d have to play better in the second half and came mightily close to doubling their lead after 65 minutes when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s floated cross was headed onto the crossbar by Tammy Abraham.

The Young Lions hit the woodwork yet again as Lookman smashed the base of the post but a minute later Aidy Boothroyd’s side were 2-0 up thanks to stand in captain Clarke-Salter as the Chelsea defender, currently on loan at Sunderland, rose highest and powered his bullet header in off of the post.

Romania got themselves right back into the tie in the 79th minute, after a scramble inside the penalty box saw Costache fire home to give the visitors hope.

And Romania could’ve had an equaliser late on through Costache but a superb block from Walker-Peters preserved the 2-1 lead.

Boothroyd's side now head back into Euro qualifying action when they face Ukraine at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane on Tuesday evening. Tickets for that game cost just £10 and £5 and are on sale until kick-off.

England Under 21s: 1 Dean Henderson (Shrewsbury, loan from Manchester United); 2 Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), 5 Fikayo Tomori (Hull, loan from Chelsea), 6 Jake Clarke-Salter (Sunderland, loan from Chelsea), 3 Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham); 4 Ovie Ejaria (Sunderland, loan from Liverpool), 8 Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal); 17 Demarai Gray (Leicester), 7 Kieran Dowell (Nottingham Forest, on loan from Everton), 11 Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig, loan from Everton); 9 Tammy Abraham (Swansea, loan from Chelsea)

Substitutes: 19 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton) for Gray 59, 21 Joshua Onomah (Tottenham) for Maitland-Niles 70, 20 James Maddison (Norwich City) for Dowell 84, , 12 Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) for Abraham 84

Substitutes not used: 15 Tom Davies (Everton), 23 Joe Worrall (Nottingham Forest), 24 Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham), 14 Ben Chilwell (Leicester), 16 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), 13 Harry Burgoyne (Wolves)

Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd

Goals: Demarai Gray 8, Jake Clarke-Salter 72, Valentin Costache 79



By FA Staff