A TALENTED young goalkeeper from St Martins was beaten for the first time in four caps for Wales Under 21s as he came up against an England side full of Premier League prospects.
Connor Roberts, who is the back-up goalkeeper at Cheltenham Town having arrived at the club following five years at Everton, was between the sticks in front of 13,000 fans at Derby County's Pride Park on Wednesday night as Wales Under 21s were beaten 1-0 by Gareth Southgate's Three Lions.
The match was settled by Norwich City man Nathan Redmond's 56th minute goal, but despite the loss Roberts said it was a “brilliant experience” to play against some of the world's hottest young talents, such as Thomas Ince, Ravel Morrison, Jack Butland and James Ward-Prowse.
“It was a really good game, obviously the result wasn’t the best but it was a really good experience and one of the biggest games I have ever played,” explained Roberts, 21.
“We defended well as a team and it was just unfortunate that we conceded one goal because I thought we should have got something.”
He added: “My first game for Wales was when I was 15-years-old and I was very nervous, but this time there was such a big crowd and it was on TV so I was shaking before I walked on the pitch.”
Roberts, whose father Stuart was also a talented goalkeeper having played for Stoke City under the guidance of World Cup winner Gordon Banks, won his first Wales Under 21 cap as a 75th minute substitute against Iceland in February last year.
Former Chirk stopper Roberts, who studied at Rhyn Park School, and his Wales team mates will have their chance for revenge against England in the return match at Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium in May.