The England U18 Schoolboys leave it late to beat Scotland in the hummel Centenary Shield. The squad’s second game finished 1-3 to England, with Sam Johnson scoring two and Ben Wodskou coming off the bench and scoring his first goal for England.
The first goal of the game came early in the fifth minute, England’s Oscar Fletcher received the ball in the centre of the park before beating his man and finding Salter on the edge of the box, who put Johnson through on goal, managing to slot the ball between the keepers’s legs to give England an early lead.
Scotland did not leave it long before equalising in the 12th minute, with a good over the top ball from Ricky Waugh, beating the England line and leaving Nathan Cannon 1 v 1, as he calmly slotted the ball past the England keeper.
Some brave goalkeeping was to come from Sheik in the 23rd minute as he took a dive at the feet of the oncoming Scotland striker, keeping the game at 1-1.
England created a chance as a great ball to the back post from Joisce found the oncoming Fraser, who headed it towards goal. Somehow the goalkeeper managed to keep the ball out the net, England continued pushing for a second.
England remained on top for the rest of the first half, creating a few chances with the best coming in added time – but Fraser couldn’t keep his header below the bar. Half-time Scotland 1-1 England.
England did not have to wait long into the second half for their first big chance, a good free kick lifted into the Scottish box by Fletcher, found England captain Fairnie who flicked his header towards goal, leaving the Scottish goalkeeper stranded. However, the header was not on target otherwise England would have taken the lead for the second time in the game.
Scotland started to create some chances, the best of the second half so far came from a volley just inside the England box, which was travelling at pace towards goal. If it wasn’t for the England Captain leading by example and putting his body on the line, Sheik may have been forced into making a save. The resulting block resulted in a Scottish corner, but nothing came of it.
Another good free kick from Fletcher in the 61st minute found Fairnie, but like earlier in the game, he couldn’t direct his header on target.
In the 65th minute England Manager, Luke Hampton looked at his bench for the first time of the game, making a double change. Joisce made way for Wodskou and Hughes came off for Bostock.
A soft back pass from Fraser left a Scottish forward through on goal, Sheik came off his line well and managed to slide tackle the forward and win the ball. England then struggled to get the ball up the pitch, resulting in a good chance for Scotland going just over the bar – a let off for the English defence.
England saw a great chance in the 68th minute from a well taken volley by Salter and if it was not for a great save from the Scottish goalkeeper, Ethan Mitchell, England would have taken the lead in the game.
A well worked corner for England resulted in the ball ending up in the Scottish net, however Johnson was offside, and the goal was ruled out. With both teams pushing for the win, England look at the bench again for fresh legs. Fletcher makes way for Sangha in the 75th minute.
Hampton looks at his bench for the third time with 12 minutes to go and replaces Fraser for Cocks who made his Centenary Shield debut.
With little time left, Salter does well down the left-hand side cutting into the box and finds Wodskou who opens up his body and looks like he is about to pull the trigger until he is brought down. The referee is left no option but to award England the penalty. Wodskou picks the ball up and places it on the penalty spot, stands up and slots it in the bottom right corner, leaving England to take the lead late on. The keeper guessed the right way, but the penalty was too well placed, leaving only a few minutes for England to hold on to secure all three points.
England continued to apply great pressure, giving Scotland no time on the ball. As a result of this, Salter won the ball back on the edge of the box and played Johnson in, who calmly doubled England’s lead and secures all three points.
It’s three points for the three lions who look to carry this momentum onto their first home game of the tournament, where they host Northern Ireland at Billericay Town on Friday 14th April. To come and support the team, you can buy tickets here.
The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.