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Will Hughes and Kieron Freeman feature in Under-21 clash at Derby County's iPro Stadium

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

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DERBY County midfielder Will Hughes came off the bench to help England Under-21s to a 1-0 victory over Wales in last night's European Championship qualifier at the Rams' iPro Stadium.

Hughes, earning his seventh cap at this level, was introduced as a 71st-minute substitute as Gareth Southgate's men consolidated their position at the top of their group, thanks to a second-half goal from Norwich City winger Nathan Redmond.

While Hughes made the bench, Derby team-mate Patrick Bamford, on loan from Chelsea, missed out on the matchday squad.

A late change to home side saw former Rams loanee Michael Keane replaced at centre-back by Nathaniel Chalobah, with Derby-born Jamaal Lascelles of Nottingham Forest promoted to substitute.

Derby defender Kieron Freeman started at right-back for Wales, who are managed by former Rams player Geraint Williams.

England exerted plenty of pressure but could not find a way through a resolute Welsh defence in the opening period.

The first shot in anger came from England's Ravel Morrison, who flashed an effort wide in the 25th minute.

Wales almost took the lead against the run of play on the half hour, when Bristol City striker Wes Burns burst away from John Stones but his angled drive whistled past Jack Butland's left-hand post.

England enjoyed long spells of possession but Wales held firm.

James Ward-Prowse, Redmond and Tom Ince all tried their luck but failed to hit the target, while Saido Berahino saw an effort deflected behind.

Redmond also headed over from Carl Jenkinson's cross just before the break.

England almost broke the deadlock less than a minute into the second half but Joe Walsh did well not to put Berahino's dangerous centre through his own net.

Ince then fired over after finding a bit of space on the edge of the area and Redmond's 25-yard curler looked destined for the net after 54 minutes but the ball flew inches wide.

But Redmond was not to be denied and, two minutes later, cut in from the left to drill a precise low shot past Connor Roberts from 20 yards.

Berahino had a great chance to make it 2-0 in the 66th minute but sent a free header over from Ince's cross.

Moments before Hughes' introduction, Ince lifted a neat lob just over from Redmond's ball into the box.

Soon after coming on, the Derby teenager advanced into the box from a Ward-Prowse pass but was crowded out by red shirts.

Former Rams loanee Tom Carroll saw an effort deflected just wide, while Wales went close to an equaliser four minutes from time, when Tom Lawrence's 20-yard strike went inches wide, via a touch off an England player.

Hughes teed up Danny Ings late on but his low shot was pushed away by Roberts.

ENGLAND UNDER-21: Butland, Jenkinson, Stones, Chalobah (Moore, 73), Robinson, Ince, Carroll, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Morrison (Hughes, 71), Berahino (Ings, 67). Other subs: Bond (gk), Lascelles, Lingard, Zaha.

WALES UNDER-21: Roberts, Freeman, Tancock, Walsh, John, Lawrence, Lucas, Pritchard (Williams, 83), Isgrove, O'Sullivan (Evans, 66), Burns (Ogelby, 78). Other subs: Dibble (gk), Fox, Hewitt, Edwards.

REFEREE: N Rainville (France).

ATTENDANCE: 13,438.

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