England U21 Men Draw Two Against Netherlands U21

The England U21 men took on the Netherlands’ U21 side in Rotterdam this weekend as both countries prepare for the Junior World Cup in Singapore and Malaysia, which is now just a fortnight away.

David BeckettThere will be plenty to reflect on for David Ralph and his coaching team after two draws and a heavy defeat in the Rotterdam heat.  England started Friday’s first game brightly, opening the scoring inside two minutes through Loughborough Students’ David Beckett (pictured right) but after being pegged back and falling behind it was another Loughborough Students player, Chris Gregg, that netted England’s second half equaliser for a respectable 2-2 draw.

On Saturday, England were left shell-shocked as they fell 3-0 behind after just under quarter of an hour.  Although Chris Gregg pulled one goal back on 16 minutes the Dutch continued to show their quality with two more goals before half time.  England fell 6-1 behind when Jomker netted his second of an eventual hat-trick before goals from Loughborough Students’ Henry Weir and Richie Dawson-Smith of Bowdon made it 6-3.  However, there was still time for two more from the hosts who ran out 8-3 winners over a disappointed England.

Chris GreggThere was a vast improvement from England in Sunday’s final match, played out in beautiful sunshine.  England did well to storm into a three goal lead by half time, Beckett, Gregg (pictured left) and Chris Griffiths all hitting the target, but three Dutch goals in the space of seven second half minutes meant the young England side had to settle for a draw.

England U21 men’s next game is on Sunday 7 June against Junior World Cup co-hosts Malaysia in their first game of the tournament in Johore.