Dean wins new admirers
England Under-19s 1Czech Republic Under-19s 1DAZZLING Dean Bowditch won a new set of admirers with an excellent performance for England at Carrow Road last night, writes Derek Davis.
England Under-19s 1
Czech Republic Under-19s 1
DAZZLING Dean Bowditch won a new set of admirers with an excellent performance for England at Carrow Road last night, writes Derek Davis.
The Ipswich Town starlet was jeered by the partisan Canary crowd to begin with but he had them eating out of his hand after setting up the equaliser to top a terrific personal display.
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Bowditch admitted he thought he was in for a torrid time from the mainly young home crowd, which reached nearly 20,000 although a further 3,500 tickets had been doled out.
He said: "I was really happy with the crowd in the end. I could hear Ryan Jarvis getting a standing ovation when his name was read out, then mine was next and they were still clapping but then I heard the boos.
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"But it was nice of them to lay off me as they recognised I was playing for my country and not for Ipswich. It was a fantastic crowd that supported us 100%.
"I guess getting some good early touches helped. The pitch was brilliant, almost as good as Portman Road.
"The ball was zipping about and I got some good ball and that helped my confidence. I was happy with my performance and the team performance was good too.
"The goal was good but we could have killed them off early on and we were disappointed with conceding the goal but in the end we got a result."
Bowditch was booed by the Norwich crowd when his name was read out and again in the first minute with his first touch, a neat turn which drew a foul.
The boos quickly turned to cheers when he showed terrific skill to get past Czech skipper Petr Ciganek and deliver a teasing low, curling ball into the box
And there were gasps of delight with another neat move to create space to deliver another ball into the mix.
The Blues striker also found himself in acres of space wide left to take a pin-point 40-yard diagonal pass from Grant Leadbitter in the centre circle. The Town striker pulled it back but Norwich man Jarvis's left-foot shot was blocked and James Morrison could not capitalise on the loose ball.
Pavel Malcharek turned a header wide in the first half, otherwise Milton Keynes Dons keeper, David Martin, son of Alvin, had nothing much to worry him and Manchester United youngster Tom Heaton replaced him at half time.
The outstanding Bowditch played the first half wide left of an attacking three up front with Jarvis, normally an out-and-out striker, playing behind Luke Moore, who spearheaded the attack, with Middlesbrough's Morrison wide right.
That was switched in the second half to 4-4-2 with Bowditch and Jarvis strike partners, until Matthew Fryatt came on and Jarvis moved to a third position on the right wing.
But England's all-out attack failed to produce and they were hit by a classic sucker punch and conceded from the Czechs' first corner of the game with Martin Fillo heading in Malcharek's flag kick in the 70th minute.
The young Lions drew level nine minutes later with Bowditch providing a wonderful low cross from the right for Derby's Lee Holmes to stroke in at the far post.
"Well played Bowditch."
Not words you will hear uttered from a Norwich fan very often, but they were last night, and they were well deserved.
England (4-3-3): Martin (Heaton, 46) Ifil, Taylor, Leadbitter, Bates, Cranie, Morrison (Fryatt, 63) Huddlestone (Jones, 86) Moore (Holmes, 55) Jarvis and Bowditch. Subs not used: Jones, Taylor, Mills and Giddings.
Czech Republic: Svenger, Ciganek, Simunek, Rosa Lisicky, 90) Filip, Svec, Holek (Chlup, 90) Fillo (Honka, 73) Borek (Sedlacek, 80) Malcharek (Simil, 87) and Fenin (Rajtoral, 65): Subs not used: Lisicky, Chlub and Divis.
Referee: K Wright (Eng)