Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland 0 - 1 England: Defeat not the end for U16s

By Stuart McKinley

Northern Ireland will go into a head-to-head battle with Wales for the Victory Shield at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Thursday week.

Stephen Robinson's boys are still in the running to win the under-16 British Championship crown despite losing 1-0 to England at Stangmore Park last night.

Andre Dozzell scored the only goal of the game in the 33rd minute, but if Northern Ireland can defeat the Welsh, who followed up their 1-0 victory over England last week with a 2-1 win over Scotland last night, by more than one goal they would take the trophy for the first time since 2000.

England, however, are also in the running after last night's victory.

Cormac Lawlor, Jack Sharvin and David Parkhouse all troubled the England defence in the opening stages of the game as Northern Ireland had the best of the opening stages.

As England began to come into the game Lawlor had to make a timely tackle to block a shot from Okera Simmonds.

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Conor Larkin then made a great save to keep the scoreline blank, but a minute later Dozzell - the son of former Ipswich Town and Tottenham midfielder Jason - scored with a beautifully struck free kick from 25 yards.

Liam McKenna and Lucas Galashan both went close with headers as Northern Ireland pushed for an equaliser, with a number of corners being forced in a positive start to the second half.

With three minutes to go Stephen Mallon saw his shot saved by England goalkeeper Ryan Sandford with Northern Ireland's last effort of the game.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Larkin, Lawlor, White, Galashan, McKenna, Crane, Lynch (Gallagher, 51 mins), Mallon, T Sterling (McGinley, 74 mins), Sharvin (Cassidy, 41 mins), Parkhouse. Subs: Fagan, Davidson, Carolan, McCourt, Roscoe.

ENGLAND: Sandford, D Sterling, Brown, Dozzell, Chalobah (Tanganga, 65 mins), Thompson, Lewis (Bennetts, 41 mins), Diallo, Simmonds (N'Lundulu, 76 mins), Bashiru, Heaney (Wilock, 76 mins). Subs: Ashby-Hammond, Enniss, Beckford.

Referee: Jamie Robinson.

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