Battling Performance from Wales in Victory Shield Opener
14 October 2013

Battling Performance from Wales in Victory Shield Opener

Wales’ Victory Shield campaign opened with a narrow defeat against a strong England team at the Aggborough Stadium in Kidderminster

Wales’ Victory Shield campaign opened with a narrow defeat against a strong England team at the Aggborough Stadium in Kidderminster

Despite a battling performance, Wales’ Victory Shield campaign opened with a narrow defeat against a strong England team at the Aggborough Stadium in Kidderminster on Friday night.

The hosts started brightly and were soon on the front foot coming close to scoring after only three minutes, when a shot from Arsenal’s Kaylen Hinds hit the post. Wales responded and the England post was hit a minute later after great work by Tyler Roberts. The West Brom striker won possession and created a scoring chance for himself but his powerful left foot shot hit the inside of the post. The resulting clearance saw Joe McNulty try his skill from 30 yards and had Sandford back pedalling only to see his effort saved.

After ten minutes England had the ball in the Wales net after Wakefield cut in powerfully from the right hand side, his shot was parried by Cardiff City’s Kelland Absalom but the resulting tap in was flagged offside.

Wales’ best effort of the half came after 32 minutes when, following an excellent sequence of passes, a strike by the lively Roberts was saved by Sandford.

Five minutes before the interval the deadlock was broken when Wakefield cut in from the left and scored with an excellent shot into the right hand corner of the net to give England an interval lead.

Wales had seemed nervous in the opening half but were better organised after the break as they improved in closing England down disrupting their play. As the game progressed, confidence grew among the Wales team.

A penalty was given against skipper Jack Challis in the 58th minute but Hinds’ shot was well saved by Absalom in the Welsh goal. Superb defending by Wales and goal-line clearances from Sam Williams denied England a second goal, but Wales couldn’t find the all important final touch for an equaliser.

Wales can take great heart from this performance and will now look forward with confidence to their remaining fixtures against Scotland and Northern Ireland.