Norway U21 1-2 England U21

Jordan Henderson
Liverpool midfielder Henderson scored England's second goal

Early goals from Craig Dawson and Jordan Henderson helped England maintain their 100% record in Euro 2013 qualification with victory in Norway.

West Bromwich Albion defender Dawson headed in from a Henri Lansbury corner in the fourth minute.

Barely two minutes later Ross Barkley squared to Liverpool midfielder Henderson and he slotted home.

Valon Berisha replied for Norway midway through the first half, but Stuart Pearce's youngsters held on.

The result leaves England on nine points, three clear of Norway ahead of next month's double-header against Iceland and Belgium.

Craig Dawson heads in England's opener
Dawson headed England into a third minute lead

Former Rochdale defender Dawson had an eventful night, needing seven stitches in a head injury suffered in the first half which meant he subsequently had to wear a bandage on his head.

"My head's a bit sore, but the result was worth it," the 21-year-old said. "I went up for the header and I think I caught his boot on the way down, and it split quite easy.

"It's my first war wound for England. It was bleeding quite heavily.

"I was always going to come back on, definitely. The doc just wanted to stitch it up and get me back on the field."

Any fears about how England, who handed debuts to Peterborough's Ryan Bennett and Blackburn's Jason Lowe, would adapt to their opponents' synthetic pitch were quickly dispelled when Dawson powered home what is fast becoming a trademark header from Lansbury's corner.

It was the West Brom defender's third goal in just four Under-21 starts and it got better for the visitors when Barkley teed up Henderson to make it 2-0.

But England soon surrendered their advantage and were made to pay in the 23rd minute when Nathan Baker - in for Matthew Briggs who picked up an injury in the warm-up in Drammen - failed to deal with a ball over the top, allowing Berisha to tuck home Markus Henriksen's cross.

Norway should have levelled three minutes before half-time but Frederik Berge could only shoot tamely at Birmingham's Jack Butland.

England withdrew Barkley for Gary Gardner early in the second half but they were unable to re-establish their early dominance.

Valon Berisha celebrates his goal for Norway
Berisha scored what turned out to be a consolation for Norway

More substitutions followed for both sides and one of them thought he had set up the equaliser in the 80th minute but Markus Pedersen somehow scuffed Yann Erik De Lanlay's cutback from just six yards.

Lansbury was desperately unlucky not to kill the contest three minutes from time when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain danced past Stefan Strandberg and stroked the ball across for the West Ham loanee, whose sliding finish smashed against the underside of the crossbar.

There was some last-ditch defending in the closing moments as Norway poured forward but Stuart Pearce's young Lions kept them out.

It was an accomplished performance and captain Henderson was delighted with the outcome.

"I think we deserved to win, because of the way we defended and went about the game, and the character we showed," he said.

Norway U21: Johansen, Hedenstad, Rogne, Strandberg, Nordtveit, Singh (Borven 84), Henriksen, Kastrati (Konradsen 63), Berge, Berisha (de Lanlay 73), Pedersen.

Subs Not Used: Kristiansen, Hammer, Johansen, Linnes.

Booked: Kastrati.

Goals: Berisha 21.

England U21: Butland, Smith, Lowe, Bennett, Dawson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Sordell (Shelvey 81), Lansbury, Barkley (Gardner 55), Baker (Flanagan 72).

Subs Not Used: Amos, Briggs, Mattock, McEachran.

Goals: Dawson 4, Henderson 6.

Attendance: 2,500

Ref: Halis Ozkahya (Turkey).

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