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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 21:00 GMT 22:00 UK
Rep of Ire U21 0-3 England U21
Gabriel Agbonlahor (right) and Eddie Nolan
Gabriel Agbonlahor (right) tries to fend off Eddie Nolan
Two Mark Noble goals helped England Under-21s brush aside the Republic of Ireland in Tuesday evening's European Championship qualifier in Cork.

Noble lobbed in the opener on 10 minutes after a mistake by Republic goalkeeper Darren Randolph and the West Ham man hit his second on 17 minutes.

James Milner notched the third goal on 26 minutes with a deflected shot.

Adam Rooney tested England keeper Joe Hart on three occasions but the more clinical group leaders claimed the win.

The Republic's most promising moments came early in the game with Sunderland striker Anthony Stokes having a shot saved by Hart.

However, the Turner's Cross crowd were silenced on 10 minutes when Noble stroked in the opener after Randolph had fumbled Andrew Taylor's cross.

West Ham midfielder Noble doubled the lead in the 17th minute, providing a crisp finish after Gabriel Agbonlahor had cut in from the left and pulled the ball back.

The hosts thought they should have had a penalty when Milner tripped Billy Clarke, but the referee awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area and Stokes' effort was beaten away.

Newcastle midfielder Milner was credited with the third goal but his shot had taken a wicked deflection off Republic captain Darren O'Dea to wrong-foot Randolph.

England keeper Hart was forced to save three times from Adam Rooney in the first half while Clarke drove across the face of England's goal.

Noble went close to completing a hat-trick in the second half but his shot was deflected over by Stephen O'Halloran.

Stephen Quinn produced the Republic's best second-half effort when his long-range shot was saved by Hart.

  • Republic boss Don Givens:
    "It's never happened to me before, going 3-0 down and feeling like the better team."

  • England coach Stuart Pearce:
    "I was delighted with the performance. They were sensational.

    "Whenever you take the field against an Irish team and you are wearing the Three Lions, you know what you are going to get from the opposition.

    "We matched them for endeavour and had the cutting edge."

    Rep of Ireland U21: Randolph, Nolan, Keogh, O'Dea, O'Halloran, O'Brien, Garvan, Quinn, Stokes, Rooney (Powell 66), Clarke (Gleeson 88).
    Subs Not Used: Quigley, McFaul, Collins, Cregg, Spillane.

    Booked: Quinn, O'Brien, Garvan, Clarke.

    England U21: Hart, Cranie, Steven Taylor, Onuoha (Wheater 77), Andrew Taylor, Milner, Huddlestone, Noble, Walcott, Agbonlahor (Johnson 74), Derbyshire (Moore 66).
    Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Jones, Muamba, Jerome.

    Booked: Andrew Taylor.

    Goals: Noble 10, 17, Milner 26.

    Att: 6,500.

    Ref: Andrea De Marco (Italy).

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