ENGLAND YOUNGSTERS STUTTER TO WIN
By Patrick Goss. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
ENGLAND'S young-guns made heavy weather of beating their Albanian opposition in Tirana - but a Jonathan Greening penalty in the 70th minute was enough to earn a 1-0 victory.
The Manchester United winger, who asked to be put on the transfer list just a day before the deadline, put in a man of the match performance in the 4-0 Under-21 victory over Finland, and repeated his heroics to earn a hard fought win.
The Albanian side, thrashed by the German youth side days ago, put in a creditable performance and looked like holding the English for much of the match before Greening was felled in the penalty area, and saw the Albanian defender Bashiri sent-off for the challenge.
The Manchester United star stepped up to take the resultant penalty himself but had to convert twice after the referee decided that players had encroached on his first, successful effort.
The three points will go some way to disguising a disappointing performance from a team that had been heavily praised by coach Howard Wilkinson after their brilliance against Finland.
Gareth Barry and John Terry had both brought saves from the Albanian goalkeeper, and Red Devils Luke Chadwick and Greening had shown glimpses of their ability.
But a lack of penetration led to few chances, although the arrival of Newcastle United's Shola Ameobi from the bench added some life to the England attack.
One minor blow was an injury to Greening who limped off and left the side with ten men on the playing field - because all three substitutions had been made.