Sammy Lee's single match as England Under-21 coach brought a victory as Justin Hoyte scored the only goal of the game against the Netherlands Under-21s in Alkmaar last night. The friendly was a warm-up for next year's European Championship finals, which are also in the Netherlands, and England are becoming one of the favourites after beating Germany in a play-off qualifier and now defeating the current holders.
Lee was only in charge for the match because Peter Taylor was concentrating on his day job at Crystal Palace and afterwards the Bolton No 2 said: "They've given the biggest gee-up for Peter Taylor that he could ever have. He can go away, leave it for one game, and he knows when he comes back it's going to be safe for him."
England were missing a number of regulars, but despite being under pressure early on, they went ahead in the 12th minute. David Nugent chased Wayne Routledge's long ball down the right but his pass only found the Dutch goalkeeper,Boy Waterman. His clearance was charged down by Hoyte, who scored from close in.
With six minutes left in the half, Carson had to scramble to palm a Quincy Owusu-Abeyie effort around the post. Owusu-Abeyie's quick feet caused problems but to no real effect. Leighton Baines was taken off at the break for Liam Rosenior.
The second half remained open with chances for both sides, but England's night was marred when Walcott needed attention with 10 minutes remaining after Ryan Donk had fouled him. Walcott was taken off for the rest of the game - with a hand injury he suffered when it was trodden on - and was replaced by Cameron Jerome.
Netherlands Under-21: Waterman; Tiendalli (Vermeer, 63), Donk, Van der Struijk (Koenders, 46), Drenthe (De Jong, 63), Schilder, Jenner, Kruys (Agustien, 46), MacDonald (Brama, 57), Bakkal (Elia, 57), Owusu-Abeyie. Substitute not used: Zuiverloon.
England Under-21: Carson; Hoyte, Baines (Rosenior, 46), Davies, Kilgallon, Huddlestone, Routledge (Welsh, 78), Milner (Whittingham, 65), Nugent (Onuoha, 85), Young, Walcott (Jerome, 83). Substitute not used: Camp.
* Northern Ireland Under-21s lost 2-1 to Germany in a friendly in Torgau, near Leipzig, last night. Daryl Fordyce, of Portsmouth, opened the scoring in the 10th minute before Jerome Boateng, after 15 minutes, and Kevin Schindler, after 45, scored for the hosts.Reuse content