Sears on target

Freddie Sears opened his account for England Under-21s with a goal straight from Little Heath as the Young Lions ran out 2-1 winners against FYR Macedonia.

Sears reacted quickest to convert James Tomkins' knockdown following a Junior Stanislas corner in the 68th minute. The trio then very nearly repeated the trick 12 minutes later, but this time the substitute could only fire wide.

Stanislas was a constant threat throughout and was unlucky to see his delightful cross headed wide by Daniel Sturridge just four minutes in. There was then temporary cause for concern as the winger went down injured in the Macedonia penalty area, but he was soon back on his feet and causing more problems for the hosts' defence.

Sears, on as a half-time substitute for Fabrice Muamba, had got England level before a late Lee Cattermole penalty sealed the game for Stuart Pearce's side, who passed their first test on the road to the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Denmark. The Young Lions will now head to Greece for their second group qualifier on Tuesday night. Tomkins played the entire 90 minutes, while Stanislas was replaced straight after the winning goal.