Birthday reward for Sunderland keeper Pickford

Jordan Pickford

Jordan Pickford

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SUNDERLAND keeper Jordan Pickford enjoyed a great birthday present last night when he kept a clean sheet for England Under-18s as they cruised to a 3-0 win over Poland at Crewe.

The teenager (pictured), on loan at Blue Square Premier side Darlington, turned 18 yesterday and marked the occasion with a stunning save just before half-time which helped keep his side on top.

Jordie Hiwula, Hallam Hope and debutant Matt Lecointe scored for England.

The game continues the Washington-born youngster’s impressive showing in the Three Lions shirt.

He played five times for the U16s in the 2009-10 season, helping England to retain the Victory Shield in the process, having kept a clean sheet against Wales on his debut.

He also played in a friendly against Belgium and in the Montaigu Tournament against Ukraine and Portugal before progressing into the U17 team at the start of the 2010-11 season.

He played his part in helping the Young Lions qualify for the European Championship finals and has now successfully made the transition to U18 level this season.