Wales 1 England 3


And still they don`t come.

Wales under-21 games have never been a crowd-puller – Aaron Ramsey was the only player ever to make it a night to relish.

And even the old enemy as opposition were unable to pull in the crowd in Swansea.

They missed a decent contest played with real passion and pace.

And even if we`re unlikely to see a side that matches the 2008 team which featured Collison, Ched Evans and Church as well as Ramsey, at least the doldrums of 2000/01 seem to be behind us.

Nathan Redmond ripped Wales apart with a hat-trick to seal a 3-1 win for England.

The best player on the pitch by a mile was the highlight of a competitive and entertaining under-21 qualifying match which leaves
Wales in third place in Group 1 after eight games.

England came out of the blocks like a racing car and dominated first eight minutes.

After 17 minutes, tricky Nathan Redmond of Norwich was unchallenged after cutting in from left and scored from eight yards

But two minutes later Swansea`s Gwion Edwards headed in at the near post to equalise.

Luke Garbutt, of Everton, went close for England and Lee Evans of Wolves missed a one on one with Butland that would have given Wales an unlikely lead.


After 30 minutes Wales started to show confidence and superb triple save by Wales` Roberts to deny Ings and twice, Lingard, kept us in the game.

But Redmond rifled in a low 22-yard shot in the 38th minute to put England 2-1 up.

Wales forced to use two subs as Williams replaces Isgrove and O`Sullivan is on for Pritchard.



After the break, Danny Alfei came on for right back Kieron Freeman who, frankly, had the toughest job in trying to contain Redmond and had not been able to keep up with him.

On the hour – England in charge largely. Redmond skipped past two on the left and hits the post, denied what would have been a fine hat-trick.

It was largely England in the second half but Wales held out gamely until, with two minutes to go, Redmond curled a shot in for an entirely deserved hat-trick.

Afterwards, eight games in to a strange campaign that has seen us lose 5-1 to Finland at home and 1-0 in San Marino, Welsh coach Geraint Williams said the squad was finally coming together as a group and players were buying in to the passing philosophy.

Wales – Roberts (Cheltenham), Freeman (Derby), John (Cardiff), Lucas (Swansea), Ray (Crewe), Walsh (Crawley), Edwards (Swansea), Pritchard (Fulham), Burns (Bristol C), Evans (Wolves) ,Isgrove (Southampton). Subs – O`Sullivan (Cardiff), for Pritchard; Alfei (Swansea) for Freeman; G Williams (Fulham) for Isgrove.



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