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Published 22 May 2024 4 min read
Men's U18

Report: England MU18s 4-2 Northern Ireland

Written by:

Zac Vassell

Young Lions pick up victory at St. George's Park in first of their two games this week


England men's under-18s dispatched of opponents Northern Ireland at St. George's Park in a close affair on Wednesday evening, with the friendly ending 4-2.

First-half goals from Kadan Young, Romelle Donovan and Ethan Wheatley helped seal the victory for Tom Curtis' side in their penultimate game of the season.

The Young Lions started the stronger of the two sides, managing to capitalise on their first opportunity. A lovely strike by Donovan stung the hands of opposing goalkeeper Mason Munn, before Young followed up to make it 1-0.

And England would double their lead soon after. An industrious run from captain Myles Lewis-Skelly opened up the opportunity for Donovan to give the hosts a two-goal lead.

A third would be added shortly after after a defence-splitting pass from Harrison Murray-Campbell played Matty Henderson-Hall through. He only had to roll it across the box to give Wheatley his first goal of the evening in the 25th minute. Minutes later, Wheatley had another chance saved from the penalty spot, after another great run from Lewis-Skelly saw England awarded with the spot kick.

England would sustain this pressure throughout the half, as Munn would come to Northern Ireland's rescue multiple times to end the period.
Ethan Wheatley scores the Young Lions' third goal of the night at St. George's Park
Ethan Wheatley scores the Young Lions' third goal of the night at St. George's Park
Northern Ireland would apply more pressure to start the second half, with a strong save by Elyh Harrison required from the outset.

But England lost their clean sheet shortly after, courtesy of a cool finish from Dylan Stitt in the 54th minute.

And Stitt would be involved again, as he grabbed himself an assist for the visitors' second of the game. A simple chance for Braiden Graham brought the visitors right back into the game, early in the second half.

The Young Lions would eventually see off the second-half rally from Northern Ireland, with a late corner being swung in by Lewis Orford and the resulting confusion that ensued in the box saw Ajay Matthews' effort deflected past the 'keeper to give the hosts their fourth of the game.

With their first friendly complete at St. Georges Park, the MU18s will now host Morocco on Sunday 26 May (1pm) to bring their season to a close.

England: 1 Elyh Harrison (Manchester United) (GK), 2 Matthew Henderson-Hall (Manchester City), 3 Joe Johnson (Luton Town), 4 Myles Lewis-Skelly (Arsenal) ©, 5 Harrison Murray-Campbell (Chelsea), 6 Ayden Heaven (Arsenal), 7 Romelle Donovan (Birmingham City), 8 Souleymane Sidibe (Stoke City), 9 Ethan Wheatley (Manchester United), 10 Trey Nyoni (Liverpool), 11 Kadan Young (Aston Villa)

Substitutes: 14 Law McCabe (Middlesbrough) for Lewis-Skelly 55’, 15 Amara Nallo (Liverpool) for Murray-Campbell 55’, 16 Somto Boniface (Chelsea) for Johnson 55’, 18 Lewis Orford (West Ham) for Sidibe 55’, 19 Matthew Warhurst (Manchester City) for Donovan 55’ , 21 Elijah Morrison (Bristol City) for Young 55’, 23 Ajay Matthews (Middlesbrough) for Wheatley 55’, 12 Tristan Rowe (Aston Villa) for Boniface 75’

Head Coach: Tom Curtis

Goals: Young 8’, Donovan 16’, Wheatley 25’, Matthews 82’