WALES C put in a valiant effort before eventually falling to a thrilling 3-2 defeat to England.

Bangor City midfielder Danny Gosset started the contest at Jenner Park on Tuesday, March 20, with Llandudno’s Toby Jones and Prestatyn Town playmaker Noah Edwards named amongst the substitutes.

The home side began the game well but they could not capitalise on close-range chances for Adam Roscrow and Chris Venables and fell behind on nine minutes when Dagenham and Redbridge striker Fejiri Okenbabirhie converted the visitors’ first opportunity of the evening.

England skipper Ryan Croasdale almost doubled their advantage after 23 minutes, but his fierce effort was superbly saved by Ash Morris, and the stopper had to be at his best again on 25 when he tipped over a Mitchell Pinnock strike.

The hosts had to chase the ball for long periods of the first half, but they did have a golden chance to level matters on 32 minutes when Aberystwyth Town forward John Owen fired narrowly wide after the away side gave away possession in midfield.

This was swiftly followed by another chance spurned by Roscrow after impressive approach play from Gosset on 36 minutes, while the visitors could have gone into the break two-up when James Hardy rattled the crossbar from close range, before Okenababirhie headed over the rebound.

After the break saw Owen force a save from Grant Smith on 49 minutes after good work from Venables, and they were made to pay on 52 when Okenababirhie pounced for his second of the evening from the penalty spot to double England’s advantage.

Wales responded well to the setback and got themselves back into the contest on 57 minutes when Mark Jones prodded home from close range within moments of coming on.

Okenababirhie was again on hand to find the net and complete his hat-trick on 75 minutes, but prolific Bala Town forward Venables reduced the arrears yet again on 77 with a well-timed finish.

Tudno star Jones’ effort was well saved by Smith soon after, while skipper Connell Rawlinson had a header cleared off the line and Aeron Edwards fired over during an intense spell of Welsh pressure in the closing stages as they failed to find a leveller.