HATTERS midfielder Adam Watkins scored a last-gasp equaliser as England C drew 1-1 with Italy in the International Challenge Trophy at Highbury, home of Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night.
Watkins struck to cancel out a spectacular goal from Federico Angiulli after 48 minutes in front of an England C record crowd of 4,628 fans.
Danny Rose almost gave England the lead after 25 minutes, but his shot from the edge of the box was saved by Alberto Brignoli, while Michael Coulson met Matthew Blair’s fantastic through ball only to squeeze his shot wide.
Italy had their fair share of chances before taking the lead; Fabio Meduki tried his luck from outside the area and rattled the post, while Simone Corazza’s shot whistled past the frame of the goal.
Just minutes after the second half began, the visitors were in front as Angiulli sent a curling 20-yard left-footed strike past the hapless Jonathan Hedge into the top right-hand corner.
England kept up the pressure soon after conceding, Kieron Forbes almost getting on the end of a low cross from the impressive Coulson on the hour mark, while Blair and Jamie Turley also had opportunities to score.
Manager Paul Fairclough made a number of substitutions, with Adam Boyes and Watkins coming on, and it was the Luton man who levelled in stoppage time.
A deep cross into Italy’s area was only half-cleared as Brignoli missed the ball, and the Hatters midfielder was on hand to fire home from the edge of the area to give England a deserved share of the spoils.