Football: Duberry hits late winner

Georgia Under-21 0 England Under-21 1
Click to follow
The Independent Online
Michael Duberry snatched a late winner as England's Under-21 side successfully came through a fraught journey to one of the most remote outposts of European football yesterday.

The Chelsea defender produced an 81st-minute winner to send England back to the top of their European Under-21 Championship qualifying group. However, Peter Taylor's side were put through one of the worst journeys of their lives on an aircraft that would have not passed any stringent European safety guidelines.

Petrol fumes filled the cabin, seat-belts were missing and many of the seats were broken for the 30-minute journey to the port of Batumi on the Caspian Sea, about 200 miles east of the capital, Tbilisi.

England's opponents were also on the flight but, for long periods, they showed no ill-effects as they dominated the game. But Duberry punished them for their poor finishing when he struck near the end. The stand-in captain, Nicky Butt, found Ipswich's James Scowcroft, who played the ball back for Duberry to hammer home into the bottom corner.

GEORGIA UNDER-21: Aslanadze; Kaladze, Tskitishvili, Didava, Khujadze, Iagorashvili (Jeladze, 75), Kiknadze, Gakhokidze, Sajaia, Potskhveria, Iashvili, Jeladze (Ashbetia, 87).

ENGLAND UNDER-21: Day (Crystal Palace); Newton (Charlton), P Neville (Manchester Utd), Duberry (Chelsea), Scimeca (Aston Villa), Carbon (Derby), Thompson (Liverpool), Butt (Manchester Utd), Dyer (Crystal Palace), Scowcroft (Ipswich), Eadie (Norwich). Substitutes: Rose (Arsenal) for Newton, 69; Humphreys (Sheffield Wednesday) for Eadie, 69.

Referee: M Aust (Germany).