York City midfielder Patrick McLaughlin had the honour of captaining Northern Ireland Under-21s in a 2-0 friendly defeat to their England counterparts in Blackpool.
The 21-year-old Lane-born playmaker featured for the full duration of the game as a powerful England side maintained their recent unbeaten run by scoring once in each half at Bloomfield Road.
McLaughlin’s opposite number on the England side, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, supplied the free-kick from which Connor Wickham of
Sunderland headed his third goal at under-21 level right on the stroke of half-time.
The visitors continued to offer determined resistance despite modest possession until England substitute Benik Afobe added a second from the penalty spot after being brought down by goalkeeper Conor Devlin with fourteen minutes remaining.