World Cup Qualifier: England vs Cyprus
After a sluggish start, we secured a comfortable victory over a Cyprus
side that came into the game placed 200th
in the FIFA Rankings.
My former Leeds
striker Graham Doyle returned to the starting line-up, and gave us the lead when he headed in a cross by his strike partner, Sheffield Wednesday forward Ollie Sharp.
We looked a lot more potent in the second-half. An effort by Southampton
midfielder Ian Fenwick was saved, but could only be parried into the path of his club mate Doyle, who smashed us into a 2-0 lead with his second goal of the game
Six minutes later, substitute Jim Evans delivered a delightful through-ball into the area for Brighton right midfielder Harrison Willis to fire us into a 3-0 lead
with his first international goal.
We kept going, and two debutants combined for our fourth goal. Leeds right back Harvey Daniels found Sharp in the area, and the prolific striker's well taken shot completed the scoring.
Man of the Match: Graham Doyle
A great return to the side for the Southampton
striker. He saw plenty of the ball, and won nine of his fourteen aerial duels. His goals set us on our way.
World Cup Qualifier: Ukraine vs England
came to our rescue, and prevented us from suffering a damaging defeat.
The hosts just shaded it in the first-half. Both keepers were busy, but our opponents had a just about deserved lead at half-time.
The second-half wasn't going too well. I'd switched from the flat 442 formation to the attacking version, but it didn't really improve things.
I then made substitutions in the 74th minute, after Steve Morris
made a great save to keep us in the game.
I took off ineffective right midfielder Harrison Willis
and equally ineffective striker Ollie Sharp
, and brought on Andy Bird
and Andy Malone
Seven minutes later, I took off another ineffective player, Wycombe
midfielder Jim Evans
on brought on Kane Brodie
for his international debut.
This did the trick. We started to put the hosts under pressure, and a poor goal-kick by the Ukraine keeper came to Doyle, who took his opportunity brilliantly.
We had a couple of chances to grab a late winner, but a draw was a fair result.
Man of the Match: Steve Morris
Steve has had a great start to his international career. He made a number of good saves tonight, and prevented Ukraine
from getting a second goal that could have both killed the game off, and our World Cup
Group 3 Table
We could do with Poland
in the next round of qualifiers, which will be in March
We'll also face a trip to Poland
that month, but before that, we'll host Belgium
in a friendly in November