Toon Striker Gets 25 Mins Against Jocks

Last updated : 14 August 2013 By Footy Mad - Editor

gEngland Under-21s gave themselves a timely morale-boost by hitting Scotland for six in Tuesday evening's friendly clash at Bramall Lane.

Playing for the first time since the hugely disappointing European Championship campaign in June that cost manager Stuart Pearce his job, the Young Lions - overseen by seniors boss Roy Hodgson - went at their opponents from the off and were ahead within three minutes.

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey sent a ball over the top and winger Nathan Redmond slotted past Scotland goalkeeper Jordan Archer.

England continued to control proceedings, with Shelvey influential from the middle, Connor Wickham making a nuisance of himself up front and Raheem Sterling looking lively on the left.

And the latter added the second goal in the 38th minute, collecting the ball from Shelvey via a Redmond flick, steadying himself and then rifling it beyond Archer.

Wickham made it 3-0 five minutes after the restart, hooking the ball in nicely when a botched attempted clearance by Archer came his way.

And England then put themselves well and truly out of sight with two goals in two minutes, substitute Ross Barkley finishing after combining with Wickham in the 55th and Shelvey looping a delightful long-distance effort over the goalkeeper in the 56th.

A rising shot from another substitute, Tom Carroll, took England to six in the 61st minute, reflecting an utterly dominant performance against a Scotland side who appeared capable of putting up little resistance.

The only real negative point for the Young Lions came shortly before the interval when midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah sustained an injury from a Tony Watt tackle and had to depart the field on a stretcher.

The hope for England will be that this represents first step on the road to redemption after their poor display at this summer's Euros in Israel, where they were beaten in all three of their games and failed to score a goal from open play.

The qualification campaign for Euro 2015 begins next month with a double header of games at home against Moldova and away in Finland.

John Stones was the only new under-21 cap included in the first XI named by Hodgson, who was taking charge on a one-off basis while the search for Pearce's successor continued.

Fellow defender Andre Wisdom skippered the side, as he had done in the final match of the Euros, while the other survivors from the starting line-up from that last outing were Chalobah, Shelvey and Wickham.

In front of 26,942 at Bramall Lane, Wickham fired an early warning with a shot on the turn into Archer's arms in the second minute, and England's pressure swiftly yielded an opener as Redmond fired in having latched onto Shelvey's smart delivery.

England continued to turn the screw from there, with Sterling to the fore and Shelvey trying his luck to no avail.

Will Hughes also got in on the action, but was unable to make the most of another delightful Shelvey tee-up.

There was a brief moment of concern for England just after the half-hour mark when their goalkeeper Jack Butland failed to claim a corner, but when the ball came to Clark Robertson, the Scotland defender headed wide.

The momentum was soon back with the hosts, though, with Wickham shooting off target, and England then doubled their lead when Shelvey played the ball forward and Redmond sent it to Sterling, who steadied himself before burying the ball.

Things did not let up for Scotland after the break, and they only had themselves to blame for the next goal as Archer sliced ball while trying to kick it out of his hands, spinning it straight up in the air for Wickham to hook straight into the net.

Shelvey almost added another within moments, sending a free-kick narrowly wide.

But further goals were not far away, thanks to the quickfire efforts by Barkley and Shelvey, the second earning a particularly rapturous reception.

Carroll then converted Redmond's pass to complete the scoring, although there were plenty of other attempts to boost the scoreline, with Sterling and substitutes Harry Kane and Sammy Ameobi unsuccessful.