CAERNARFON Town winger Sion Bradley netted a sensational free kick to seal Cymru C’s deserved 1-0 win against England C at Stebonheath Park in Llanelli.

The Blaenau Ffestiniog player has been in fine form for the Canaries this season and stepped up to the plate to cause England all sorts of problems with his surging runs down the left.

Bradley was in last season’s squad against England but did not get off the bench but more than made up for it this time around.

On his goal Bradley said: “It was massive, probably one of the best goals I’ve scored to be fair.

“There were a few minute to go until half time and the boys said just take a pop.

“Once the ball left my foot I knew where it was going.

“I’ve been playing well for Caernarfon and I hope we can push on for Europe.”

Much had been said of England’s firepower up front before kick off with their three forwards scoring a combined 83 goals between them this season.

Llanelli, Wales - 19th March 2024: 
Sion Bradley of Cymru celebrates scoring his sides first goal from a free kick.
Cymru v England C in an International Friendly at Stebonheath Park on the 19th March 2024. (Pic by Lewis Mitchell/FAW)
Bradley runs to the crowd after his wonder strike (Lewis Mitchell/FAW)

But Cymru manager Mark Jones got his tactics spot on with his side offering the greater threat whilst nullifying the English attacks with Bala keeper Kelland Absalom up to the task when called upon, including one top notch save.

Jones said: “I think the whole of Wales knew that he’s (Bradley) got it in his locker.

“He said that last year, not getting on in that game drove him on to playing the game this year.

“What an attitude and that’s what kids should look up to.

“Someone upset set him last year, I did. And what’s he done tonight. Magical.”

Both sides started well, with plenty of chances for the deadlock to be broken.

Llanelli, Wales - 19th March 2024: 
Cymru C lineup ahead of kick off.
Cymru v England C in an International Friendly at Stebonheath Park on the 19th March 2024. (Pic by Lewis Mitchell/FAW)
Cymru C beat England C 1-0 (Lewis Mitchell/FAW)

For Cymru, Ryan Sears and Emlyn Lewis fired headers on goal, but Elliot Justham was alert enough to make two smart saves.

At the other end, both centre halves for Cymru made superb blocks.

Firstly, Emlyn Lewis put his body on the line to deny Callum Maycock before Lee Jenkins managed to clear Paul McCallum’s header off the line.

The dangerman throughout the half, however, was ion Bradley. He made blistering runs down the wing and tested the England defence on more than one occasion. His fierce shot looked destined for the far corner, but Justham managed punched clear.

For large phases, the half was tight and cagey, but that all changed in the final minute of stoppage time, as Cymru broke the deadlock. Bradley lined up a free kick on the edge of the box, and he saw the ball fly into the net. Justham was a spectator and Cymru ahead at the half.

For all the excitement the first half brought, the second half was quiet for large periods. England did try to push forward and create chances, but the Welsh defence stood firm.

At the other end, Bradley was still being a thorn in the side of the English defence. With a defender on his back, the goal scorer powered through into the box, but Justham parried the ball behind.

As the game raced into its final furlongs, Paul Fairclough’s side searched for an equaliser, but when they went through, they were met by Absalom.

He firstly produced a spellbinding fingertip save to deny Ollie Pearce, and then was alert again to stop Reece Smith.

But his best stop came in the 94th minute, when he leapt to his far post to tip Pearce’s scissor kick around the post.

Shortly after Absalom’s heroics, the game was over, and Cymru picked up their first win since their famous victory in Caernarfon two years ago.