England Under-21s’ boss Aidy Boothroyd lauds bravery of Dominic Calvert-Lewin

England Under-21s' Dominic Calvert-Lewin, centre, and James Maddison battle with Ukraine Under-21s' Pavlo Lukyanchuk at Bramall Lane (Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire).
England Under-21s' Dominic Calvert-Lewin, centre, and James Maddison battle with Ukraine Under-21s' Pavlo Lukyanchuk at Bramall Lane (Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire).
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MANAGER Aidy Boothroyd hailed the goalscoring contribution of hometown player Dominic Calvert-Lewin after the Sheffielder grabbed a goal to help England Under-21s take a significant step closer to the 2019 European Championship finals in Italy.

The Everton striker and former Sheffield United player struck a sweet first goal at Bramall Lane to put the Under-21s in front against Ukraine in last night’s Group Four encounter to the joy of the home crowd.

His strike just before the break was his first in seven matches at Bramall Lane after failing to find the net before his move to Goodison Park.

An 82nd-minute leveller from Mykolo Shaparenko looked like denying England all three points, but Dominic Solanke struck late on for England, who are now unbeaten in their last 31 qualifying games.

On the performance and goal for Calvert-Lewin, afforded generous applause when he came off late on, fellow Yorkshireman and Under-21 manager Boothroyd said: “I thought he did really well. He made a lot of unselfish runs to get other people in.

“Obviously his goal is what he is all about, pulling away and creating a bit of movement to get in and he was very brave.

“(Some) players would have stayed away from that one, but he managed to toe it in and that was great for him when he came back here.

“He obviously moved quite quickly and they didn’t really see the best of him. But he is showing that young players can come through and play regular Premier League football.”

Boothroyd added: “It was a massive result. You see what it did to them at the end.

“It was far from perfect in terms of our performance and in the first half we felt we could have been a lot better than what we were.

“In the second half we were much improved and did some of the things we had been working on. Overall, when they scored to make it 1-1, to have the character to keep going and show the willingness to keep making the runs and Dom’s late finish made me very, very pleased with the result.”