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England Victorious Over World and European Champions Turkey

Writes: Rhys Pountain

England Starting XII: (left to right) Thomas Atkinson, Michael Masters, Harry Ash, David Tweed (c), Rhyce Ramsden, Martin Heald and Jamie Tregaskiss - Image: Jake Kirkman

England opened their Nations League account with a 1-0 victory over World and European Champions Turkey on Friday evening in a landmark moment for amputee football.

Alongside Turkey, Spain and hosts Poland, England made history in the first ever EAFF (European Amputee Football Federation) Nations League.

Poland put four past Spain in an impressive victory to get the tournament underway, while Scott Rogers’ England side watched on from the stands in anticipation of their opening game against World champions Turkey.

It was almost a dream start for Rogers’ side as Harry Ash rattled the crossbar with a glancing header after just four minutes on the clock.

Following a spell of Turkish pressure matched by English resilience, at the opposite end, it was Michael Masters who watched his effort ricochet off the woodwork. Somehow England still couldn’t find the opener.

Meanwhile, when you face the World and European champions there is no time for a lapse in concentration and Thomas Atkinson was alert to the danger when pulling off a fine save to keep the scores level.

Half Time: England 0-0 Turkey

England began the second half just as they opened the first, but this time the veteran that is David Tweed managed to give Rogers’ side the advantage after just three minutes. A ferocious strike across the box was helped on via a deflection and into the back of the net.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC - David Tweed celebrates with Jamie Tregaskiss and Rhyce Ramsden - Image: Jake Kirkman

A nervy 20 minutes remained and the resilience of this young England side was to be tested.

Despite the Turks enjoying the majority of possession England continued to stand up to the test in front of them – restricting their opponents to shoot from range.

Five minutes from time and Atkinson proved just why he was given the nod to be the man between the sticks, pulling off a superb double save down to his right. A save worthy of a goal at the opposite end.

53 minutes on the clock and cheers of elation echoed around the Pradniczanka Stadium as the full-time whistle was blown and England opened their campaign with a huge three points.

Full Time: England 1-0 Turkey

Starting XII: Atkinson (GK), Masters, Heald, Ash, Ramsden, Tregaskiss, Tweed ©

Subs: Lambourne (GK), Silva, Fisher, Dean, Oakey, Yates, Burbridge


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