By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
United youngsters Adam Armstrong and Freddie Woodman enjoyed five star debuts for England under-16s as the Young Lions thrashed Northern Ireland in their opening game of this season's Sky Sports Victory Shield.
The pair, both 15, played the full 80 minutes at Stangmore Park in Dungannon, County Tyrone, on Thursday night with forward Armstrong setting up two goals and goalkeeper Woodman keeping a clean sheet in a 5-0 win.
Woodman - who had already won two caps for his country at under-17 level without conceeding a goal - had a quiet evening but made a couple of comfortable saves as the Young Lions dominated proceedings throughout.
Armstrong twice came close to opening the scoring with a free-kick which whistled just over the bar and a powerful strike which was well held by keeper Brett Long before Liverpool's Tom Brewitt headed home the first goal on 21 minutes.
Demetre Mitchell of Manchester United made it 2-0 with a superb solo goal before Armstrong teed up skipper Jordan Rossiter to score the third before half-time.
The Newcastle youngster saw another shot saved early in the second half but his delightful touch on the edge of the area set up Middlesbrough's Callum Cooke for a fourth.
Cooke got his second and England's fifth on 58 minutes before Armstrong saw an effort go agonisingly wide, but it was still a debut to remember for his and his club colleague Woodman.
England have won the competition for each of the last 11 years, with Woodman a non-playing member of last season's squad.