Spence leads Young Lions to victory

Jordan Spence played a captain's role as England Under-18s recorded a 2-0 home friendly victory against Ghana in Gillingham on Tuesday night.

The 17-year-old West Ham United centre-back was part of a strong rearguard display that kept the African side at bay while goals towards the end of each half from Daniel Welbeck and Daniel Drinkwater did the damage. The Young Lions could also afford to miss a penalty two minutes after their opener through Nana Ofori-Twumasi, the Ghana-born full-back who moved to England when he was ten, but the result was never in doubt.

Nine of the England set-up were involved in the U17 World Cup finals in late summer, when Spence led his country to the quarter-finals. Ghana reached the last four of that competition in Japan, underlining the significance of Tuesday's performance. Spence has actually already represented England at U19 level as well, helping them last month to qualify for next year's elite qualifying round for the 2008 European Championship.