Dean Ashton has made his long-awaited England debut with a creditable 45-minute display in the 3-0 friendly win away to Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday night.
The 24-year-old striker missed out on a first cap last Wednesday in the 2-0 home win against the United States but he was named alongside Jermain Defoe in Fabio Capello's starting lineup in Port of Spain. Ashton turned in a hard-working performance, especially in terms of his link-up play with Defoe, but only twice had shooting opportunities. The first was a fifth-minute run and shot that sailed over the crossbar before a 37th-minute volley from David Beckham's ball saw Ashton drop off his defender well but unable to keep the effort down.
The No9 made way at half-time, one of three interval substitutions, with Peter Crouch coming on his place. By then, England were two goals up, with Ashton having been involved in the opener for Gareth Barry on 12 minutes before Defoe struck his first three minutes later. The West Ham United academy product, now at Portsmouth, added a second early in the second half. Although off the pitch by then, Ashton, who has joined club-mates Robert Green, Matthew Upson, Kieron Dyer and Scott Parker in earning England recognition, will have every hope of further international appearances.