GOALKEEPER Jon Kennedy got his first England cap in their 4-1 loss to Italy Under 23s at Shrewsbury on Wednesday night.
The Stanley shot-stopper came on with 24 minutes left with the score at 3-1 in front of 3,703 at Gay Meadow - a record crowd for an England National Game XI fixture - and this included a coach load from Accrington. Kennedy was in the goal with the Stanley fans shouting behind him and he did well to save the initial shot but the Italian forward Fernando Sforzini fired home the rebound.
And Reds captain Peter Cavanagh picked up his second international cap after starting the game. The 22-year-old right back had been struggling with a calf strain and came off with 15 minutes left. Exeter's Gareth Sheldon scored England's only goal but they did hit the woodwork.
"I am proud of my players as they gave everything they had, but we were second best," said manager Paul Fairclough.
"I was happy with the team going forward, but defensively we made mistakes, and got suckered into a few situations by a strong, technically excellent side."
"When you consider that some of their players are one step away from playing in the Italian equivalent of the First Division, my players can go back to their clubs with their heads held high."
England are preparing for the Four Nation's Tournament in Scotland in May.