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Young Lions victorious against Italy

25 October 2012

Ruthless England defeated Italy in a prestigious Under 18 international friendly at One Call Stadium.

Infront of almost 5,500 supporters, Christopher Long fired Noel Blake’s Three Lions ahead after only three minutes, before Devante Cole doubled the advantage after the interval.

However, the result could have been much different had the Azzurri not wasted a number of gilt-edge chances throughout the encounter.

England began brightly and almost went ahead after only 15 seconds when Long’s goal bound effort was blocked on the line by Italian centre-back Dario Del Fabro.

However, Long atoned for his miss just two minutes later when he crept into empty space inside the six-yard box and fired beyond the helpless Wladimiro Falcone, after Isaac Hayden had delivered a superb low cross from the left channel.

Luca Crecco and Leonardo Capezzi both volleyed into the arms of Luke Coddington, whilst Venuti blazed wide from the edge of the area as Italy threatened a quick response.

Despite enjoying plenty of possession, the Italians were nevertheless restricted to shooting from distance and midfielder Diego Frugoli came no closer to an equaliser on the half-hour mark when he drilled a low attempt straight at Coddington.

Mattia Aramu enjoyed another chance as Italy maintained their pressure after the re-start, whilst Coddington had to be alert in order to divert a Capezzi free-kick around the woodwork.

Falcone denied Jordan Ibe with a near-post save on the hour, before Adam Webster produced a last-ditch challenge to prevent Aramu from enjoying a one-on-one with Coddington.

England then doubled their lead against the run of play on 66 minutes.

Manchester United’s teenage prodigy James Weir cut in from the left flank and arrowed a low ball through the six-yard box, which allowed the grateful Cole to tap into an empty net.

Weir almost further enhanced England’s advantage with a curling right-foot shot that only just missed the target, before substitute Jacob Murphy fired straight at Falcone.

Tiberio Velocci failed to reduce arrears in the final few minutes as he dragged his awful shot wide, despite having time and space to do much more.
Attendance: 5,405

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