Mark Noble scored two goals within the first 17 minutes and Newcastleâ€™s James Milner scored a third after 26 minutes to help England Under-21s brush aside the Republic of Ireland.
The game was played on Tuesday evening in Cork, Ireland, and was a 2009 Under-21 European Championship qualifier.
Newcastle’s James Milner, another cap and another goal for England Under-21s
Noble got the opening goal on 10 minutes after a bad mistake by Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph and the West Ham man hit his second after only 17 minutes. His deadly finish came after Gabriel Agbonlahor had cut in from the left and pulled the ball back.
James Milner notched the third goal on 26 minutes with a shot that was deflected into the goal. The Newcastle midfielder was credited with the goal but his shot had taken a wicked deflection off Ireland captain Darren O’Dea to wrong-foot keeper Randolph.
Both captain Steven Taylor and James Milner played the full 90 minutes for England and were both uninjured, as far as we can tell, at the end of the game – good news for Newcastle supporters 😀
Ireland fought back gamely and might have reduced the deficit had it not been for the brilliance of England and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart. Adam Rooney had good efforts brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Joe Hart on three occasions. On 29 minutes Hart flung himself to his left to spectacularly claw Adam Rooneyâ€™s shot behind for a corner, a wonderful save by England’s promising 19 year-old goalkeeper. Irelandâ€™s most promising opportunities were early in the game with Sunderland striker Anthony Stokes having a good shot again well saved by Hart.
Ireland may have had a penalty when Milner tripped Billy Clarke, but the referee awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area, and Stokes’ effort was cleared. In the second half the impressive Noble went close to completing a hat-trick but his shot was deflected over by Stephen O’Halloran. Stephen Quinn produced the Republic’s best second-half effort when his long-range shot was well saved by Hart, who was outstanding in the England goal.
Since Newcastle center-back Steven Taylor took over as captain, England have won all 4 games and have yet to concede a goal.
Ireland U21: Randolph, Nolan, Keogh, O’Dea, O’Halloran, O’Brien, Garvan, Quinn, Stokes, Rooney (Powell 66), Clarke (Gleeson 88).
Subs Not Used: Quigley, McFaul, Collins, Cregg, Spillane.
Booked: Quinn, O’Brien, Garvan, Clarke.
England U21: Hart, Cranie, Steven Taylor, Onuoha (Wheater 77), Andrew Taylor, Milner, Huddlestone, Noble, Walcott, Agbonlahor (Johnson 74), Derbyshire (Moore 66).
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Jones, Muamba, Jerome.
Booked: Andrew Taylor.
Goals: Noble 10, 17, Milner 26.