Webster helps England march on towards Euros

Adam Webster in action against Turkey in March
Adam Webster in action against Turkey in March
Smoke bombs were let off during Pompey's match against Charlton today. Picture: Joe Pepler

Steward treated after smoke bombs let off following Pompey defeat

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Adam Webster has helped England under-19s take a giant stride towards Euro Championship qualification.

Needing a point against Switzerland today to qualify for the next stage, Noel Blake’s side grabbed a 1-0 victory.

Mason Bennett secured it in the 34th minute – his third goal in as many games – as England topped their group.

Among the side was Pompey’s Webster, lining-up in the centre of defence following his recent recall to the international set-up.

After impressing during his current loan spell at non-league Aldershot in his favoured centre-half role, the West Wittering youngster has re-emerged as a regular for the young lions.

This afternoon’s result in Slovenia means they will now be seeded for the Elite Round, which takes place in May.

From there, seven teams will join hosts Hungary in the Euro Championship finals next summer – with the best performers qualifying for the under-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

For the time being, though, England have secured their passage into the next stage.

Ex-Blues favourite Blake made seven changes to the team who beat Andorra 7-0 in the second qualifying game on Saturday, including the inclusion of Webster.

The 18-year-old had initially appeared in the 1-1 draw with Slovenia on Thursday night before the squad was rotated.

But he was back in the team for the crucial clash with Switzerland, along with Gosport’s John Swift, who is on Chelsea’s books.

On 34 minutes England made the breakthrough when James Wilson broke on the right, cut inside and found himself bearing down on Novem Baumann’s goal.

His shot was well saved by the Swiss keeper, but the rebound fell kindly to Derby’s Bennett, who confidently fired home.

England were comfortable until late in the second half, and Shani Tarashaj’s goal-bound shot was bravely blocked by Webster, while Omar Thali’s effort from the resulting corner was scrambled away.

In the dying seconds, it was left for Mitchell Beeney to make a spectacular fingertip save from Francisco Rodriguez – and England held on.

Webster has now made six England appearances since his November 2012 international debut.