MEIKLE PLAYS FOR ENGLAND C
England C 0-1 Turkey
Tuesday, 05 February 2013
Written by Joe Glidewell
Dartford's Princes Park played host to the International Challenge Trophy Semi-Final on Tuesday and what a great occasion it proved to be.England C
A crowd of over 3,000 saw a Non-League England side take on Turkey's very promising youngsters, which featured 3 full senior internationals!
Unfortunately for England, tricky winger Aydin Yilmaz pounced 3 minutes from time to break England's resilience, which is no more than the away side deserved after creating a host of chances throughout the game.
The Turkish fans were out in force with several hundred of them singing and jumping throughout the game. At one point in the first half, a few flares were produced adding a bit of life to Princes Park and certainly warming up the stadium on a bitterly cold evening.
Preston Edwards was on fine form in the England goal during the first half making a few decent saves to keep the visitors at bay. It started with an acrobatic dive to keep out Murat Duruer before denying Cenk Tosun a goal. His best stop came midway through the first half as Yilmaz was through on goal before Edwards come rushing out at his feet and took the ball cleanly as a few of the Turkish fans behind the goal appealed for a penalty.
Turkey were in full control of the game at this point and the 'Fleet shot stopper was almost caught off guard when Soner Aydogdu's audacious attempt from the half way line nearly lobbed him – fortunately he had it covered as it just crept over the bar.
England failed to create any clear cut chances in the first half, however there was one chance on the stroke of half-time which was put just wide from the edge of the area.
HT: 0-0. England have Edwards to thank for the scores being level at half-time, and Turkey will look to more of the same from Emre Colak in the second half. The midfielder was in great form in the first half carving England open a couple of times and creating some good opportunities for his team mates. Colak, a Turkish senior international player, played against Manchester United this season in the Champions League. That highlights just how strong the Turkish side was!
The second half begun and England begun to grow into the match and create chances. Lindon Meikle and Andre Gray both hit the target, albeit both landing straight in the 'keepers arms.
Gray then wasted a good chance as he turned a Josh Gillies cross over before Turkey had two good opportunities on the break but both were brilliantly blocked by the England defence.
Then came England's best chance of the match. Once again, good work down the right by Josh Gillies as his cross beat everyone. Meikle had it on a plate just 8 yards out with the goal gaping but somehow the Mansfield midfielder blasted over when it seemed easier to hit the back of the net!
This miss spurred the Turkish players on and whilst Simon Ainge was off the field receiving treatment they exploited the England backline as Yilmaz ran through unchallenged and put the ball in the back of the net.
The England lads can be proud of their achievements. The stand out players were Eddie Oshodi of Forest Green and of course, Ebbsfleet United's Preston Edwards. Both had solid games and kept the Turkey defence out to give England a fighting chance of winning, but it wasn't to be.
England: Edwards, Turley, Thomas, Ainge (Jackson 88mins), Wedgbury, Oshodi, Gillies, Forbes, Gray (Spencer 82mins), Davis (Jolley 89mins), Meikle.
Subs not used: Mott, Jarvis.
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