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England U17s Victorious at the Proact

23 March 2015

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An efficient England blew past Slovenia 3-1 in an entertaining match that a magnificent 3,126 fans came to the Proact to watch.

A loud and large crowd at the Proact Stadium - including the famous England band - attended the match, with even a small contingent of Slovenia supporters making themselves heard in the Karen Child Stand and cheering their team on.

The match formed part of the Elite Group of the Euroepan Under-17 Championships, with the qualifying teams from this final group advancing to Bulgaria for the finals in May later this year.

England shaded the opening stages of the contest but Slovenia were able to show that they'd be no pushovers and went close when midfielder Kristjan Sredojevič forced England 'keeper Paul Woolston into a smart near-post save 15 minutes in.

However, the Young Lions took the lead midway through the first half when Nathan Holland delivered a looping corner that captain Reece Oxford climbed towards and headed past visiting 'keeper Rom Vodišek, giving the home side the early advantage at the Proact.

With half an hour gone Jakob Novak forced Woolston into an impressive tip over the crossbar, but with half time approaching England doubled their lead when Holland found space in the box to prod home.

Two minutes later and England had a more fortuitous third, Holland this time whipped in a low ball and the luckless Oskar Cvjetičanin sliced into his own net to lengthen his side's disadvantage.

Second half and Daniel Wright came close to adding an England fourth, swivelling on a low centre to fire a shot that deflected past the 'keeper but was scrambled off the line by a defender.

Slovenia were keeping the hosts honest and substitute Dejan Petrovič arrowed in a 25-yard shot that looked to be gaining his team a foothold in the game until it was blocked by an England head.

However, the visitors soon did have themselves a goal when captain Jan Mlakar headed past Woolston at the near post to give his side a goal that their play had merited.

Following a half-cleared England corner defender Tom Davies may have thought he'd be adding his name to the scoresheet, but though his aim was true his left-footed shot cannoned into a Slovenia defender and bounced away to safety.

The scoring ended with four goals for the evening, and England comfortably held on to their advantage into added time - going the closest to scoring the game's fifth goal when Lukas Nmecha scuffed at a shot that Vodišek was able to comfortably save, the impressive crowd going home happy with an England job well done.

England U17: Woolston (gk), Yates, Davies, Oxford (c), Holland (Nmecha), Wright, Willock (Patching), Ndukwu (Edwards), Dasilva, Suliman, Sterling

Slovenia U17: Vodišek (gk), Karič, Ogrinec (Bužinel), Cvjetičanin, Novak, Sredojevič, Mlakar (c), Valenčič, Elšnik, Guček, Rom (Petrovič)

Goals:

England U17: Oxford 20', Holland 36', Cvjetičanin (og) 38'

Slovenia U17: Mlakar 66'

Attendance: 3,126

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