Darren does it again

Austria Under-21s 0England Under-21s 2DARREN Bent, the ultimate supersub, has done it again.The Ipswich Town striker continued his remarkable scoring record for England when coming off the bench by scoring in the 89th minute to wrap up a deserved win for Peter Taylor's young guns in Krems last night.

Austria Under-21s 0

England Under-21s 2

DARREN Bent, the ultimate supersub, has done it again.

The Ipswich Town striker continued his remarkable scoring record for England when coming off the bench by scoring in the 89th minute to wrap up a deserved win for Peter Taylor's young guns in Krems last night.


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That was Bent's fourth goal for his country in seven appearances. It was also the fourth time he had scored in the final three minutes of games when coming on as a substitute.

Bent, who netted in the 90th minute in England's last match, a 3-1 defeat of Ukraine at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium last month, was held back again by Taylor, coming on in the 69th minute in place of Blackburn's Jonathan Stead.

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He went preciously close to wrapping up the points when his header thumped the crossbar from a Leighton Baines' centre. But finally, in the last minute, Bent raced onto Nigel Reo-Coker's pass and slipped his shot past the over-worked Austrian goalkeeper Ramazan Ozcan.

Earlier Carlton Cole, currently on loan at Aston Villa, grabbed his third goal in two matches at this level to put England in the driving seat.

England, who face Poland in their next group game on Tuesday, had enough chances to have won more comfortably but there were positive signs for the stiffer battles ahead, most notably with Germany.

It was Taylor's first competitive match in charge of the Under-21s since he was sacked by the then FA technical director Howard Wilkinson four years ago after a successful spell.

This time, he is combining the role while remaining in charge of Hull City until at least the end of the current campaign.

England, containing only three regular Premiership players in Nicky Hunt, Stead and Cole, made a lively start with Reo-Coker making his presence felt in midfield.

Stead showed plenty of determination to run back from the edge of the Austrian penalty area and rob Thomas Lechner, although his eventual shot trickled through to Ozcan.

Then, after 32 minutes, Cole brought the game to life. The striker won a free-kick and then advanced to the edge of the Austrian penalty area to get on the end of a cross from skipper Gary O'Neil.

Cole had time to bring the ball down and send a low drive into the corner of the net, although Ozcan may have been slow getting down.

Austria tried to respond and a mistake by uncertain debutant Calum Davenport teed up an opportunity for Stefan Kulovits but his shot was charged down.

But England upped their game and Cole almost made it 2-0 when he failed to make contact with Stead's knock-back from a deep Downing cross.

England needed a second goal to kill off their opponents and Cole came close to achieving that with a header cleared off the line at full stretch by Lechner before Bent tested the strength of the Austrian crossbar before using his pace to great effect.

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