England U19 3-0 Turkey U19: Blake’s Young Lions cruise to win in Chester as Chelsea man Swift sparkles
England’s Young Lions prepared for May’s all-important European Championship qualifiers by sweeping aside Turkey 3-0 on Wednesday evening.
Coach Noel Blake stretched his unbeaten run to 15 games as goals from Devante Cole, Lewis Baker and Callum Robinson gave dominant England a resounding win at Chester.
It was the perfect preparation for testing Elite Round qualifiers against Montenegro, Scotland and Ukraine at the end of May that will determine whether England make the finals in Hungary.
Winning habit: England Under-19s beat Turkey 3-0 to extend their unbeaten run to 15 matches under coach Noel Blake. Here, Chelsea’s Lewis Baker (No 8) celebrates scoring a penalty for the second goal
Spot on: Baker slots home the penalty in the 59th minute at Chester’s Swansway Stadium as England prepared for their European Championship qualifiers in May in superb fashion
Flying start: Manchester City striker Devante Cole blasts home England’s opening goal after 22 minutes
Wavelength: Chelsea playmaker John Swift, who set up Cole’s goal, celebrates with him
England: Mitchell Beeney (Christian Walton 76); Ola Aina, Calum Chambers (c) (Harrison Reed 46), Shay Facey, Matthew Targett (Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill 67); Isaac Hayden, John Swift (Dominic Ball 58), Lewis Baker; Josh Murphy (Paul Digby 67), Sam Gallagher (Alex Mowatt 67), Devante Cole (Callum Robinson 58)
Scorers: Cole 22, Baker 59 (pen), Robinson 63
This was the last opportunity for Blake to run the rule over his 1995-born group and he named a squad combining regulars at Under-19 level and debutants.
He was blessed to have a number of in-form players involved and one of these, the Chelsea midfielder John Swift, ran the show in the first-half before a crowd of nearly 3,500 at the Swansway Stadium.
Swift played in a playmaker role behind Manchester City’s Cole – the son of former England striker Andrew – Sam Gallagher of Southampton and Joshua Murphy of Norwich City.
After a couple of near-misses early on, the link between Swift and Cole paid off on 22 minutes.
Collecting the ball on the edge of the area, the Chelsea man beat a defender and looped a perfect ball for Cole to fire across the goalkeeper Ibrahim Demir and into the far corner.
Pressure: Lewis Baker chases down Turkey’s Dogan Erdogan during the Under-19 friendly, which gave coach Noel Blake the opportunity to run the rule over his squad before the all-important qualifiers
Hemmed in: Sam Gallagher tries to reach the ball ahead of Turkish duo Dogan Erdogan and Ertugrul Ersoy
Cole was called up to the squad following his excellent performances for City in the inaugural season of the UEFA Youth League and he wasted no time in translating that onto the international stage….