Wickham plays full game in England defeat

CONNOR Wickham earned his third cap for England Under-21s in tonight’s 2-1 defeat to visiting Iceland in a friendly fixture at Preston’s Deepdale.

CONNOR Wickham earned his third cap for England Under-21s in tonight’s 2-1 defeat to visiting Iceland in a friendly fixture at Preston’s Deepdale.

Wickham’s strike-force partner, Nathan Delfouneso, swept England into a 13th minute lead when racing onto Danny Rose’s through ball and finishing smartly.

Eight minutes later and Wickham had his first real sight of goal. He flicked on Marc Albrighton’s cross, only for keeper Bjornsson to save at his near post.

Iceland levelled just before half-time, through Arnor Smarason, and they took the lead through Holmar Orn Eljolfsson’s 67th minute header.


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Wickham had chances to score in the second half. The 17-year-old had a shot saved by Bjornsson when it was still 1-0, and he was close to converting Albrighton’s cross on 72 minutes.

But it was a useful run-out for Town’s No. 9, who celebrates his 18th birthday on Thursday.

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Meanwhile, Town centre-half Gareth McAuley will skipper Northern Ireland for tomorrow night’s European Championship Qualifier at home to Slovenia.

McAuley, who scored his second international goal in Northern Ireland’s 2-1 defeat to Serbia on Friday night, has been handed the captain’s arm-band due to regular skipper Aaron Hughes’ shoulder injury.

Nigel Worthington’s team are down in fifth place, eight points behind leaders Italy, so they really need a win over Slovenia to keep alive their faint hopes of qualification.

Damien Delaney, McAuley’s defensive partner at Portman Road, has been called up to Republic of Ireland’s squad for Wednesday night’s friendly against Uruguay.

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