ESFA Internationals

England U18 Schoolboys 2 – 1 Notts County Academy

England U18 Schoolboys’ successful in their training camp friendly, arranged by ESFA sports tour partners, inspiresport

The England Schoolboys continued their training camp activity with a hard earned 2-1 win over Notts County on the Sir Alf Ramsay pitch at St Georges Park on Friday 25 February.

The opening half was one of frustration for England as they faced a tough opponent who were asking plenty of questions all over the park, with the England lads struggling to make any inroads offensively in the early stages.

Jack Bates saw his free-kick from 25 yards out blocked by the wall, with Josh Stones next to threaten as he ran at the defence and created space before firing over. Stones then turned provider with a neat back heel into the path of Alfie Dean, but the striker was denied by the impressive Notts keeper.

Jakub Hebda’s looping effort was saved by the keeper before Notts took the lead, a cross into the box wasn’t dealt with and the striker side footed into the net. Just before the break, Stones had an opportunity but was again denied by the keeper.

The second half saw a number of changes and England became more dangerous from the off. Demico Burton’s shot drifting just wide before Noah Carney had a low shot saved by the keeper down to his left.

Good work from Burton set up Carney for another shot, which the keeper dealt with before Freddie Legg surged down the right and laid the ball across the box on a plate for Bailey Hall to side foot home from 4 yards out.

Ashton Fox turned and shot over the bar from 12 yards out, following a cross into the box, while Carney was again testing the keeper before Josh Mazfari made a couple of good saves to prevent Notts going back in front.

With Stones back on, he tested the keeper with a shot from a narrow angle before turning provider, heading down the left and crossing for Carney to finally find a way past the Notts keeper – steering the ball home from close range. Stones saw a low shot turned round the post by the keeper a minute later, with the last of the goalmouth action before the final whistle.

All in all an excellent test for the lads against a strong opponent with a strong and energetic second half performance turning round the half time deficit.

Thanks to Notts County for travelling over, some excellent players on show and they more than played their part in an entertaining match – we wish them well for the remainder of the season.

The England U18 Schoolboys’ next friendly fixture is Sunday 6 March against their ISFA counterparts at Shrewsbury School. The ESFA would like to wish the squad the very best of luck for this fixture.

Match report and photos supplied by 353 Photography

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