Steven Taylor will now captain the England Under-21s into next summer’s European Championships in Sweden.
Steven Taylor – scored with header to take England through
The England Under-21 side eased past Wales into the finals, but it was hardly easy, and En gland again conceded two goals, which is unlike them.
England were leading 3-2 on aggregate from last week’s first-leg in Cardiff, and nicely opened the scoring through a Tom Huddlestone free-kick in the 14th minute.
But then Wales surprisingly went ahead before the interval with goals Arsenal youngster Aaron Ramsey and Wycombe striker Simon Church.
But it was that Newcastle man again who scored with a header to restore England lead, when his header hit the back of the net via the arm of Wolves’ Sam Vokes just before half-time. Vokes is the 18 year-old striker Newcastle were interested in last January, when he was at Bournemouth, but he moved to Wolves in the summer.
England made it difficult for themselves when Spurs’ Huddlestone was sent off in the second half but Stuart Pearce’s side held on to win the two game tie by 5-4.
After steamrolling through in their group, England’s passage to Sweden was made extremely difficult by a very good Wales side, but it’s the England lads who will be there on 15th June in Sweden, and they will be favorites to win the whole thing – but they’ll need to tighten up their defense.
The Finals start in June next year and Steven Taylor will be leading the England side, and we’re sure he will be just delighted at that. But first – 3 points on Monday night against Manchester City please. 😀
1 Joe Hart, 2 David Wheater, 3 Jamie O’Hara, 4 Lee Cattermole (15 Fabrice Muamba, 31), 5 Steven Taylor (c), 6 Michael Mancienne, 7 James Milner, 8 Tom Huddlestone, 9 Gabriel Agbonlahor (17 Fraizer Campbell, 46), 10 Mark Noble, 11 Adam Johnson,
Subs: 12 Andrew Taylor, 13 Tom Heaton, 14 Martin Cranie, 16 Matt Derbyshire, 18 Adam Lallana
Manager Stuart Pearce
1 Owain Fon Williams, 2 Neal Eardley (c), 3 Rhoys Wiggins, 4 Jack Collison, 5 Darcy Blake, 6 Joe Jacobson, 8 Andy King (15 Mark Bradley, 60), 9 Simon Church, 10 Aaron Ramsey, 11 Shaun MacDonald (7 Nicky Adams, 83), 18 Sam Vokes
Subs not used: 12 Rhys Taylor, 13 Lloyd James, 14 Grant Basey, 16 Jonathan Brown, 17 Joe Allen
Manager Brian Flynn
Referee Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistants Wilco Lobbert (NED) and Berry Simon (NED)
Fourth Official Tom Van Sichem (NED)