England U19s started their 2019-20 campaign with a 3-1 victory over Greece at St. George’s Park.
Goals from Daniel Adshead, Ryan Edmondson and a penalty from captain Thomas Doyle saw off a physical Greek side who had opened the scoring.
Paul Simpson’s side will be hoping this season culminates with the 2020 U19 EURO in Northern Ireland next July. Qualifying for those finals doesn’t start until November for this Young Lions group and this professional showing augurs well for the campaign ahead.
Greece, who had stunned England with victory at this age group on the same pitch last March, threatened to do the same here when they opened the scoring in the fourth minute. Vrakas Georgios’ hopeful effort taking a fortunate deflection to loop it up and out of the reach of Zachary Jeacock.
England had a tough task to break down this stubborn visiting defence but they finally managed to find an opening in the 28th minute. Everton’s Anthony Gordon doing all the work down the left before finding Edmondson inside who duly provided recent Norwich City acquisition Adshead with a goal from close range.
The lively Gordon was again involved for England’s second on the hour mark. The left winger got the better of Greece captain Llavas Georgios only to see his shot across the goal palmed on to the far post by Mandas Christos but Leeds United’s Edmondson was in the right place to fire home the rebound.
In the 74th minute, it was game over. Bukayo Saka was judged to have been bundled over by Thymianis and skipper Doyle thumped home the spot-kick despite a firm palm from substitute goalkeeper Talichmanidis.
Next up for Simpson’s side is a trip to Haiger to take on Germany on Monday (9 September, 4pm kick-off).
England U19s: 1 Zachary Jeacock (Birmingham City on loan to Gloucester City), 2 Bali Mumba (Sunderland), 3 Luke Thomas (Leicester City), 4 Thomas Doyle © (Manchester City), 5 Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Manchester City), 6 Ajibola Alese (West Ham United on loan to Accrington Stanley), 7 Daniel Adshead (Norwich City), 8 Louie Sibley (Derby County), 9 Ryan Edmondson (Leeds United), 10 Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa), 11 Anthony Gordon (Everton).
Substitutes: 1 Zachary Jeacock for 22 Marcus Dewhurst (Sheffield United on loan to Guiseley) 45, 7 Daniel Adshead for 19 Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) 60, 9 Ryan Edmondson for Curtis Jones (Liverpool) 60, Anthony Gordon for Tyreece John-Jules (Arsenal) 60, 8 Louie Sibley for 15 Clinton Mola (Chelsea) 73
Substitutes not used: 12 Vontae Daley Campbell (Leicester City), 13 Luca Ashby Hammond (Fulham), 14 Rhys Williams (Liverpool on loan to Kidderminster Harriers), 16 Luis Binks (Tottenham Hotspur), 17 Paris Maghoma (Tottenham Hotspur), 18 Morgan Whittaker (Derby County).
Head coach: Paul Simpson
Goals: Daniel Adshead 28, Ryan Edmondson 60, Thomas Doyle 74 p
Bookings: Thomas Doyle 57