ESFA Internationals

England U18 Schoolboys friendly- UCFB Manchester 2-2 ESFA U18

England Schoolboys let slip a 2 goal lead in their final warm up game before their Centenary Shield campaign opens up at the end of the month.

English Schools Football Association Under 18 England Schoolboys v UCFB Manchester on Sunday 1st March 2020 (c) Garry Griffiths | ThreeFiveThree Photography

Facing a UCFB Manchester side it was a side short on options for manager Richie Alderson with a number of players absent with injuries.

In a tough contest in windy conditions there were few clear chances in a scoreless opening half although Charlie Dickerson came close with a cross come shot that  bounced off the top of the crossbar.

New addition to the squad, Steve Johnson, fired wide from just inside the box late on in the half while Ross Johnstone’s free kick sailed over the bar.

The second half saw two quick fire goals for England as Oliver Waddison fired home from the edge of the box before a corner kick caused chaos in the UCFB defence and the ball fell to Joe Lockey on the edge of the area who fired into the bottom corner.

For a spell it looked like more goals would follow as Johnstone was foiled by the post and crossbar while Brad Santos saw his close range effort blocked by the keepers legs.

UCFB’s fresher legs late on saw them on the front foot and a shot from just inside the area reduced the deficit before a mix up at the back gave the UCFB forward an open goal to draw them level at 2-2.

A good workout for the side who will now hope to get all 18 players fit and ready for the trip to Belfast to face Northern Ireland on Friday 27th March.

ESFA Internationals, featured

England Schoolboys U18 3 FC Utrecht U17 1- Eindhoven Tour 2020

The England Schoolboys made it two wins from their two matches in the Netherlands with a terrific performance and a well deserved win over FC Utrecht.

The game was played at frantic pace with Utrecht certainly offering a more physical challenge than their opening game 24 hours earlier but the back four marshalled by Thomas Duffy and Joe Lockey  were resolute in an opening half of end to end football.

Brad Santos and Taylor Richardson were giving the Utrecht defence plenty of concerns with their pace and it was the latter who gave England a deserved lead, a neat side foot finish to a cross from the right midway through the half.

The lead was short lived though, the home side drawing level moments later but that did not interrupt the performance level from the visitors and their pressure told shortly before half time when Hans Mpongo bagged his second goal in as many games to have England 2-1 ahead at the interval.

After the break there was no drop off in performance and the home side were grateful to their keeper who made a number of good saves to keep the result in doubt but he could do nothing about Ben Reay’s late shot from outside the box that completed the scoring.

All in all a great performance to round off the trip and set the lads up for their next fixture in early March against UCFB in Manchester.

Photo Credit- 353 Photography