Grimes and Pym make international U20 bow in comprehensive winChristy Pym and Matt Grimes made their England Under-20 international bows as part of a 6-0 win against Romania at New Bucks Head.
City’s homegrown duo played the final 10 minutes against their Romanian counterparts at the home of AFC Telford, contributing to a comfortable win for the Young Lions.
Midfielder Grimes even had the glory of a helping hand in the final goal as his pinpoint free-kick found Callum Robinson, who headed in from close range for the last goal of the game.
After a goalless first period, second-half goals from Rolando Aarons, Josh Murphy, Callum Robinson (2) and Lewis Baker (from the spot) gave the Young Lions a comprehensive win in Telford.
England were making a lot of the early running through Newcastle’s Rolando Aarons, who was exploiting even the tiniest of gaps in either channel.
And Aston Villa striker Callum Robinson was the first to really test goalkeeper Razvan Began, hitting a swirling effort from outside the area which needed punching clear.
John Swift, Rotherham’s Chelsea loanee, also had a fair crack at goal but a much-needed block was put in by Romania captain Bogdan Danciu.
Stopper Began twice had to improvise to tip the ball over the crossbar – the first was from a great strike over the crossbar by captain and Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker from parallel with the left-hand side of the box, and the second as Aarons shot left-footed as he cut off the right flank.
England stopper Christian Walton was untroubled for the most part by Romania, and didn’t have a shot to save – however he commanded his area well when the ball was put into the danger-zone.
Half-time: England U20 0 Romania U20 0
England’s first-half pressure didn’t amount to any goals, but within 10 minutes of the restart Aarons had found the game’s first goal.
The Newcastle forward received the ball with back to goal on the six-yard line after a neat low cross from Ibe had foxed the Romanian defence, and as he struck left-footed on the turn, the ball nestled into the back of the net via the inside of the post.
Murphy doubled the lead with a thumping volley, crashing home a diagonal from left-back Matt Targett. And two minutes later it was Robinson that got on the end of a low cross from the left by Aarons, steering the ball high into the net.
Sub Murphy got taken down by goalkeeper Began after being laid in, allowing Baker to net from the spot for the Young Lions’ fourth. Sub Kwame Thomas was left the simple task of steering in the fifth from close with ten minutes remaining.
Grimes and Pym were both given a role to play towards the end of the fixture – the midfielder replacing Aarons and the stopper coming on for Walton.
Pym was untroubled at the back against a tired Romania attack, though Grimes was typically seeking the ball in midfield and looking to pick passes from deep.
And Grimes capped an impressive cameo by setting up the sixth and final goal – an inswinging free-kick from wide on the right was perfect for Robinson to head in a sixth.
Full-time: England U20 6 Romania U20 0
England U20: Walton, Hayden, Targett, Baker, Ball, Facey, Ibe, Swift, Akpom, Robinson, Aarons.
Subs: Pym, Dabo, Digby, Harrop, Grimes, Jones, Pearson, Long, Reed, Thomas, Murphy.
Goals: Aarons, Murphy, Robinson (2), Baker (pen), Thomas.
Romania U20: Began, Roman, Gherghe, Halmaghe, Crisan, Caruta, Balaure, Danciu, Tudorie, Asandului, Olteanu.
Subs: Negrila, Ionascu, Fota, Mares, A.Petricau, V.Petricau, Akari.
Referee: Paul Tierney