WALES 1 ESFA U18 BOYS 2
Monday 21 March 2016By ESFA Office
Inspiresport Centenary Shield match report
Friday 18th March 2016, kick-off 19.00hrs
England started positively and controlled the tempo early on, as time ticked on the game opened up and both sides had chances as space became available.
Wales had a fantastic chance saved by Andrew Wycherley in the England goal as he dived point blank to deny the Welsh forward the opening goal.
England had the best two clear cut chances, but were unable to score either as Aaron Smith failed to get the ball out of his feet in the penalty area and Joe Thomas blazed high over the bar following a flowing move.
Just as England looked to be in control, disaster struck, when in the 35th minute, Welsh winger Nathan Wood scored directly from a corner as the ball looped in at the back post.
The Welsh had their tails up after the goal and England had to hold on and show their resolve. As the half ticked into the final few minutes England capitalised on their own set piece corner as George Lamb found himself free at the back post to stroke home and level the scores.
Half time 1-1
Both teams had chances in the opening 15 minutes with the Welsh team going close on two occasions following a corner and England's Aaron Smith screwing his shot into the side netting.
Cianan Breen looked to add pressure to the Welsh goal with two well taken set pieces, both causing the Welsh goalkeeper to make solid saves keeping the scores level.
England looked to gain confidence and raised the tempo once again, with Shropshire players Joe Thomas and Zak Lilly combining to force another diving save from Iwan Roberts in the Welsh goal.
The pressure kept mounting and Ben Bradshaw looped a shot inches over the bar from the edge of the box. Lilly sprung to life and forced two more saves from Roberts, one as he broke away and another from a bullet header.
The English continued to pepper the Welsh goal and the pressure finally counted as a low corner whipped in by Breen skidded off a Welsh defender causing a scramble in the box before Smith was on hand to stab home.
The continued pressure throughout the second half proved telling as the referee signalled the end of the game and confirmed an England victory.