England's young lions, including York City goalkeeper Russ Howarth, took a giant step towards qualification for next year's European Under-18 Championships with a shock 2-1 win over Italy in Ancona, writes Dave Stanford.

After comfortable victories over Andorra and the Faroe Islands, England needed to beat the host nation in order to qualify for an intermediary qualifying round next spring.

With Chelsea's Rhys Evans favoured to Howarth in goal, England found themselves 1-0 down to the Italians, who had built up a better goal difference with crushing victories over the minnows.

However, two goals in the final ten minutes ensured a major upset for England, who will now face Poland next year.

The match against the Poles will be played over two legs with the victors going through to next summer's finals in Finland.

Howarth, who is expected to be back on the bench for City's Division Three clash at Southend on Saturday, will be hoping to be selected for England Under-18s next match - a friendly against Belgium at Bradford's Valley Parade next month.