Posted: 5/9/2018


          The Banks's Stadium, formerly The Bescot, is easy to find. Right next to the M6 motorway from London to Scotland's west coast and it has its own local rail station, open on match days from Birmingham. 

         While the FA and UEFA were busy treating the great and the good of the West Midlands to gourmet food and drink, the HOI POLOI who actually bought tickets were not so lucky. The Bescot Club and other food outlets were shut so we all marched round the corner to McDonalds, which was packed to the gills with young families in their England regalia. I must say that the staff were MAGNIFICENT, all smiles and fast action. They should replace the FA Council or the UEFA one in my opinion. My friend Derek from La Jolla Nomads and I shared a cramped booth with three jolly young Lions fans from Telford who enjoyed their Happy Meals and free toys.

        England managers Gareth Soutgate and Phil Neville were there to see Steve Cooper's young talented troops in action in front of a crowd oy 7,150 on the hottest day of the year and a Bank Holiday.   Alessio Riccardo of AS Roma surprised the defending World Champpions with a low 25 yards strike in the 13th minute past gk Ashby-Hammond of Fulham of 4 double barrelled names on the squad.  The Young Lions never gave up but it wasn't until the 63rd minute that they equalized.

          Arvin Appiah of Nottingham Forest scored as The young Azzurri switched off and eventually wilted in the heat. 6 minutes later after Rayhaan Tulloch, a sub from West Bromwich Albion, was brought down in the box by Alberto Barazzetta of AC MilanEngland scored the winner.. Tthe confident and impressive Tommy Doyle of Manchester City scored from the spot.  He is the grandson of City legends Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe. Another player.  Bobby Duncan, is a cousin of Steven Gerrard, but doesn't have a club right now.

         England's third and final Group A match is on Thursday evening at the New York Stadium of Rotherham United, where the final will be held on May 20th.

       The young Lions only have to avoid defeat by the Swiss to reach the quarter finals. The referee was Vilhjalmur Thorarinsson of Iceland assisted by Faroese and Kazahstan officials and the fourth official from Northern Ireland. Matches are 80 minutes long with no extra time in the play-offs and straight to penalties.

       See you at The New York Stadium.