Wales defeats England 1-0 at Bangor.
Wales defeated England at Bangor this evening to start the Victory Shield Tournament with a bang.
On a blustery, cool, evening at the BookPeople Stadium, Bangor, Wales took-on England in the opening BSkyB Victory Shield game for 2014.
Wales came-in to the match on the back of two historic wins over France - ideal preparation for the annual event with the other home countries. Head Coach Osian Roberts was able to pick a full-strength team for the game and hopes were high of a victory against the ‘old enemy’. Several of the Wales team had already played for the Under 17 squad in recent UEFA qualifiers, showing how the ‘player pathway’ was working for the benefit of Welsh Football.
Wales Team & Subs:1. Scott Coughlan, Cardiff City, 2. Cole DaSilva, Chelsea, 3. Ben Williams, Blackburn Rovers, 4. Liam Angel, Cardiff City, 5. Daniel Jefferies, Swansea City, 6. Max Smallcombe, Exeter City, 7. Keiron Proctor, Cardiff City, 8. Matty Smith, Manchester City, 9. Tyler Roberts, West Bromwich Albion (c), 10. Ben Woodburn, Liverpool, 11. Liam Cullen, Swansea City.
Subs: 12, Adam Przybek, West Bromwich Albion, 13, Theo Llewellyn, Bristol City, 14, Joe Lewis, Swansea City, 15, Ibby Sosani, Cardiff City, 16, Sam Phillips, Wolverhampton Wanderers, 17, Ethan Ampadu, Exeter City, 18, Keiran Evans, Swansea City.
England Team & Subs:
1.Taye Asnby-Hammond, 2.Dujon Sterling, 3.Vashon Neufville, 4.Callum Slattery (c), 5.Japhet Tanganga, 6.Tolaji Bola, 7.Keanan Bennetts, 8.Charlie Gilmour, 9.Martell Taylor-Crosslade, 10.Mason Mount, 11.Jonathan Leko. Subs: 12.Lewis Thompson, 13.Ryan Sandford, 14.Mackenzie Heaney, 15.Sadou Diallo, 16.Okera Simmonds.
In the first few minutes, Wales won a free kick after a foul on Tyler Roberts. Max Slocombe delivered a good cross that eventually found England goalie Asnby-Hammond.
The windy conditions were not making life easy for both teams - ball control proving to be a difficult task. Early exchanges were fairly even. For Wales, Ben Woodburn showed some good skills to create a half chance on 9 minutes that was cleared by the English defence. Tyler Roberts was always looking for a chance to find a gap in the England back-line.
For England, Keanan Bennetts went-down in the Wales area on 12 minutes but referee Kevin Parry waved play-on. For Wales, Roberts had a snap-shot on 14 minutes that was well held by the keeper from some fifteen yards-out. Moments later he was almost able to put Matty Smith through, but the keeper was alert to the danger.
On 15 minutes, Liam Cullen had a shot from wide on the left that the keeper dealt with cleanly, but it was clear that Wales were taking the game to England. The visitors were coping with the attacks and looking to play some good passing football too, working the ball-out from defence and feeding the flanks when they could.
Tyler Roberts won another free kick on 20 minutes as he was pulled-down as he made a run through the middle of the England defence. He took the kick himself, but the wall did its job.
England replied with an attack and won a free kick after a foul on Charlie Gilmour, but the free kick went high and wide after 22 minutes.
The first corner to Wales came-on 25 minutes. A good kick saw Wales threaten but Roberts’ shot was well held by the keeper.
England began to look a little more settled as the half wore-on, but clear chances were hard to come by. Wales certainly seemed to have the upper hand on the first half hour.
The best chance of the half fell to Matty Smith after a great through ball from Tyler Roberts, but his shot went just wide of the right-hand post on 32 minutes.
For England, Keanan Bennetts was the pick of their forwards. He was quick and tricky and looked to cut-inside when he could.
Ben Woodburn had the ball in the net after 35 minutes for Wales but was adjudged to be offside. It was a well taken strike too.
England should have taken the lead minutes klater when the Welsh keeper parried the ball straight-out to Bennetts, but he shot wide from only five yards out. A real let-off. Moments later another shot was cleared away by the Welsh defence as England had their best attacking spell of the match.
Wales’ Liam Angel had treatment after a clash in the penalty area and was down for several minutes before resuming.
At the start of the second half, Englnad made one substitution, with Lewis Thompson replacing Japhet Tanganga.
Wales were back on the attack straight away and won a free kick that went for a corner. The resultant kick saw a scramble in the goalmouth and a goal for Wales from Liam Angel at close-range on 43 minutes. It was well-deserved.
The action was now taking-place in driving rain which had started during the half time break. England won a corner on 45 minutes which resulted in a second corner after being cleared. That also came to nothing.
Tyler Roberts received some attention after a clash but was able to resume soon-after. England again started to come-back into the game, but Wales always looked ready to counter-attack. England won a free kick on 56 minutes for a push on Taylor-Crossdale, but the kick was cleared for a throw-in.
The rain continuers to come-down heavily, making the pitch greasy and harder for the players to turn. Wales made their first substitution on 59 minutes when Sam Phillips replaced Keiron Proctor.
The game was becoming a midfield battle as both sides looked for supremacy. Wales made a second change with Ethan Ampadu replacing Matty Smith on 63 minutes.
Once again, Wales were showing the ability to pass the ball to feet as they looked to find a way forward. The players looking comfortable in possession, but England were now pressing hard looking for the equiliser.
The rain seemed to get heavier still as the game entered the last quarter, and there was no doubt that it was a difficult evening to play good football. The crowd, around 1400 people, had also had to endure the terrible weather conditions.
England made a double substitution on 70 minutes, Diallo and Heaney replacing Bennetts and Gilmour as they continued the search for goal. Wales were holding firm and made a third change with Keiran Evans replacing the hard-working Tyler Roberts on 73 minutes.
It was now about keeping England out for the final minutes of the game, though Liam Cullen did have an attempt that went just wide with five minutes to go. England were leaving gaps at the back as they threw everything at Wales. Sam Phillips getting a shot-in with minutes left on the clock and winning a corner.
England made a final change bringing-on Simmonds for Taylor-Crossdale as a last throw of the dice as the game went-in to added time. Could Wales record their first win since 2010 against England?
The Wales defence held firm as the rain finally stopped. The team had been expertly prepared by Osian Roberts and his staff and the result was hard-fought and thoroughly deserved as the final whistle went 1-0 to Wales!
Watch Wales v England match highlights:
Technical Director and U16 Head Coach Osian Roberts has announced his starting line up for this evenings U16 Sky Sports Victory Shield International v England.
1. Scott COUGHLAN, Cardiff City
2. Cole DASILVA, Chelsea
3. Ben WILLIAMS, Blackburn Rovers
4. Liam ANGEL, Cardiff City
5. Daniel JEFFERIES, Swansea City
6. Max SMALLCOMBE, Exeter City
7. Keiron PROCTOR, Cardiff City
8. Matty SMITH, (Vice Captain) Manchester City
9. Tyler ROBERTS, (Captain) West Brom
10. Ben WOODBURN, Liverpool
11. Liam CULLEN, Swansea City
12, Adam PRZYBEK, West Brom
13, Theo LLEWELLYN, Bristol City
14, Joe LEWIS, Swansea City
15, Ibby SOSANI, Cardiff City
16, Sam PHILLIPS, Wolves
17, Ethan AMPADU, Exeter City
18, Keiran EVANS, Swansea City
4.Callum Slattery (c)
Robbie Burton (Arsenal) has also been part of the Wales squad this week, and now back in full training following an injury but will not be named on the substitute bench this evening.
The game takes place at the Book People Stadium, home of Bangor City FC, 7pm kick off.
Adults £5.00 (pay at turnstile) U16s free.
Please note the Sky TV cameras are filming the game but it is not being broadcast live on Sky Sports, so please make every effort to come down and support the future of Welsh Football.
Osian Roberts and Ian Rush held a media conference in Bangor on Wednesday.
Osian said: "Our preparation for this tournament has been very good - especially with back-to-back wins over France at Newport recently for the first time ever. I am happy with the squad's progression, and several of the lads have already played for the Under 17 side in the recent UEFA qualifiers in Belarus. It shows once again that we have a player pathway that is working. The lads are able to go into another squad - often more than a year young - and still do a job."
On the Sky TV cameras being present for the game with England at the BookPeople Stadium on Friday: "Our lads certainly do not need any motivation for these Victory Shield matches, but having the cameras at the match certainly gives them the chance to show what they can do to a wider audience. The TV coverage over these last ten years or so has taken the matches to another level."
Ian Rush was asked about the importance of the games: "They are vital, because this is where we can install the good habits into the lads and as has been proven by the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Johnny Williams and Emyr Huws, the chances of progression are there for them if they apply themselves. I want these lads to have the experience of playing in a finals tournament that I, and players of my era, never had."
He continued: "I am really excited to be involved with these youngsters and I think we can help them to go that extra mile. England will be a tough test but hopefully with a good turn-out from the Wales fans on Friday night we can make it a night to remember."
Tickets are £5 for adults with children admitted free. The match kicks-off at 7pm.
Osian Roberts has named his Under 16 squad for the opening Victory Shield Game.
The match, against England will take place at the BookPeople Stadium, Bangor on Friday 31st October 2014.
The Wales team has recently beaten France in two friendly fixtures at Dragon Park, Newport in preparation for this competition that also includes Scotland and Northern Ireland. The matches are shown on Sky TV.
The squad is, with club and school:
Scott Coughlan - Cardiff City - Bishop Vaughan Catholic School
Adam Przybek - West Brom - Sandwell Academy
Ben Williams - Blackburn Rovers - Bishop Rawstorne High
Theo Llewellyn - Bristol City - QEH Bristol
Daniel Jefferies - Swansea City - Cwmtawe School
Joe Lewis - Swansea City - Cwmtawe Community School
Liam Angel - Cardiff City - Pontllanfraith
Ibi Sosani - Cardiff City - Mary Immaculate School
Matty Smith - Man City - St Bedes RC Independent School
Sam Phillips - Wolves - Thomas Telford
Ethan Ampadu - Exeter City - St Lukes Sports & Science Colleage
Max Smallcombe - Exeter City - Bodmin College
Keiron Proctor - Cardiff City - Ysgol Gyfun Gumraeg Plasmawr
Liam Cullen - Swansea City - Cwmtawe School
Ben Woodburn - Liverpool - Rainhill High School
Tyler Roberts - West Brom - Sandwell Academy
Robbie Burton - Arsenal - Leigh Technology Academy