Tomkins Stars For England U-17s

ACADEMY defender James Tomkins played for the whole 90 minutes as England Under-17's drew 2-2 with France in their opening game in the UEFA Mini Tournament held in Luxembourg.

Manchester City striker Daniel Sturridge, nephew of QPR striker Dean, was on target twice in the first-half for the U17s during a well-balanced encounter.

Coach John Peacock was pleased with the response of his team after a below average performance against tournament hosts Luxembourg on Monday and came away from the Grand Duchy in a positive frame of mind.

"It was a much better performance from the lads," he said. "It was a very tough game, but I thought we deserved to get something out of it, especially after the way we played in the first-half."

The brace from Sturridge sent England in 2-1 up at the break. His first, on 18 minutes, came following a mix up in the French defence, with the referee awarding an indirect free-kick. A fierce left-foot drive gave the keeper no chance.  Chelsea's Scott Sinclair created the second after 33 minutes.

His penetrating run down the middle opened up the France defence before he slipped in a neat pass for Sturridge to beat the goalkeeper in the one-on-one.

"We can come away with lots of positives from the game," added Peacock. "We were put under a lot of pressure in the second-half, but the lads persevered and performed very well.  And to remain unbeaten over the two games will give the players a great deal of confidence."