Chaplow impresses in first England start

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PROUD Lion Richard Chaplow made his first international start in Germany on Tuesday.

And the Clarets midfielder could be proud of his performance as England Under 19s held Euro 96 star Dieter Eilts side to a 1-1 draw in Celle.

Dick Bate handed the 19-year-old a berth on the right of a central midfield three and the number eight shirt with Ian Henderson, of tomorrows visitors Norwich City, and Derbys Lee Holmes playing wide to make up a five as England matched Germanys 4-5-1 formation in the Gunther Volker Stadion.

Chaplow delivered a box-to-box display in Lower Saxony, and his superbly cushioned pass carved out Englands opener for Holmes right on half-time.

England got men behind the ball well early on, and Chaplow saw little action, although he was unfortunate to be adjudged to have brought down Christian Gentner on the edge of the box.

One of his crunching tackles then alleviated the danger as lively Borussia Dortmund forward Sahr Senesie shaped to turn and shoot.

Chaplow got more into the game as the half progressed, and looked composed in possession.

In the formation Bate used, it was vital for the likes of Chaplow and Stacy Long to get forward, and he was unlucky not to get on the end of a decent move, with the final ball from Crystal Palace left back Gary Borrowdale just too high.

The cultured Claret showed good moments of skill a neat turn and volleyed pass to Holmes, a chest trap and ball on for Ryan Jarvis and a superb side-step and lay off standing ouT.

He was also taking charge of most of the dead ball situations, and when his corner was cleared, Spurs Phillip Ifil fired the ball back to the left, and Chaplows weighted ball was acrobatically finished by 16-year-old Holmes with an overhead kick.

Chaplow continued to look comfortable in the second half, helping out at the back with one vital clearance hooked away from Stuttgart forward Mario Gomez.

He continued to use the ball well, and his forward running almost helped create a second goal, after centre back Sinkiewicz levelled.

Manchester Citys Lee Croft looked to play in Henderson, and Chaplows decoy run dragged Job-Matip out of the middle, only for Henderson to screw his shot, off-balance, well wide.

He did blot his copybook eight minutes from time when he conceded a foul with a push in the back on halfway, and was subsequently booked for dissent.

And he made way for Sunderlands Grant Leadbitter three minutes later.

But, all in all, his performance bodes well, and he is certainly in with a chance of making the final 18 for the second qualifying round of the UEFA European Championships in Slovenia this month.

There England face the hosts, Denmark and Ukraine three games in five days and if they top their group, they will progress to the finals in Switzerland in the summer, which take place between July 13th and 24th.