England bonus after Ramsey helps Wales end their barren run
Wales 2 Montenegro 1
Saturday 03 September 2011
Gary Speed, the Wales manager, recorded his first competitive win since taking charge last December, but this victory was bitter-sweet following the loss of two vital players through suspension for the Euro 2012 qualifier with England on Tuesday.
Speed was buoyed by goals in either half from Steve Morison and captain Aaron Ramsey to pull off a major surprise against Montenegro. But the debut qualifying success came at a cost as Wales' most-capped outfield player accused Italian referee Luca Banti of robbing Craig Bellamy of the chance of a Wembley confrontation with England after the striker collected his second booking of the campaign.
Speed suffered a second blow on a largely pleasing night for Wales as Sunderland midfielder David Vaughan will also be banned against Fabio Capello's side. Speed said: "Nobody is more disappointed than Craig and David. To play England at Wembley doesn't happen very often.
"Craig's [booking] wasn't even a foul let alone a yellow card so to rob him of that is very harsh. I think the referee realised his mistake.
"I'm really disappointed that Craig misses out in those circumstances and for David who has been a big part of what we're doing.
"I've told the lads they can come with us to Wembley. We're about the group and I think Craig has a few things to sort out with Liverpool but we hope they can be there with the team."
Speed allayed fears that Ramsey was injured after he departed after 63 minutes with cramp. Without the Arsenal midfielder Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic halved the deficit in the 71st minute but Wales held on.
The knock-on effect now put England in the driving seat for the finals in Poland and Ukraine next summer with a three-point advantage in Group G after their 3-0 victory in Bulgaria. But Speed was also delighted to see his players earn some reward for the previous six months of pain.
Speed added: "It's been tough for the players before, the last six months we've tried to develop a passing style and sometimes the results have been sacrificed to drill that in. They've put lots of effort in without much reward and now they've got that reward. We deserved the win.
Montenegro face England in Podgorica next month, but insist they will not lie down in their pursuit of automatic qualification. Head coach Zlatko Kranjcar said: "England are in a great position, but we won't surrender."
Wales: (4-3-3): Hennessey; Gunter, Blake, Williams, Taylor; Ledley, Ramsey (Crofts, 63), Vaughan; Bale (Earnshaw, 90), Morison (Robson-Kanu, 82), Bellamy. Substitutes not used Myhill, Danny Collins, Matthews, Allen. Booked: Vaughan, Bellamy.
Montenegro: (4-4-1-1) Mladen Bozovic; Balic (Jovanovic, 82), Batak, Savic, Zverotic; Vukcevic, Pekovic, Drincic, Jovetic; Djalovic; Vucinic (Delibasic, 78). Substitutes not used Blazic, Kascelan, Novakovic, Damjanovic, Vladimir Bozovic.
Referee: L Banti (Italy).
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
Latest in Sport
Manchester City vs Manchester United combined XI: No place for Yaya Toure... or any United defenders
Sami Khedira transfer news: Arsenal can win the Premier League if they sign Khedira in January, says Perry Groves
Manchester City vs Manchester United analysis: Manuel Pellegrini has no excuse for City's lack of a Plan B, writes Danny Higginbotham
Chelsea injury list: Loic Remy lead the Blues' absent players while Diego Costa is set to return
Radamel Falcao: Manchester United ready to seal permanent transfer of striker as 'everything is complete' to extend his Old Trafford stay
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream