Hall shines for England

Robert Hall turned in an impressive display on his debut for England Under-16s on Friday night as the Young Lions ran out 6-0 winners against Northern Ireland Under-16s in Ballymena.

A half-time substitute, the 14-year-old Hall made an instant impression with a driving run from the halfway line right to the edge of the hosts' penalty area before being upended. He was to show his attacking intent inside the box with a couple of half-chances, before sliding in team-mate Jake Fowler for the fifth goal and then seeing his saved shot followed up by Ra'vel Morrison for the sixth.

The Under-16 contest was the first game of the 2008 Sky Sports Victory Shield. Hall has been with the club since he was seven and proved to be a prolific goal scorer as he has progressed through the Academy ranks. Hall is following in the footsteps of other West Ham United products to have featured in the Shield including Trevor Brooking, Joe Cole and current U19 international Jordan Spence.

Academy director Tony Carr said: "Robert follows a long list of young strikers we have produced over the years and we wish him every success. We have got high hopes for him as a promising young player for the future."

The Victory Shield sees England, winners of the last seven editions and managed by Kenny Swain, take on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in a mini-league format with the team who finish top of the group lifting the trophy. England will next be in action against Wales in Llanelli on 31 October before concluding the round-robin tournament on 29 November against Scotland.