Zavon Hines came off the bench to score twice as England earned a 6-3 victory against FYR Macedonia to keep in touch with leaders Greece in qualifying Group 9.
The 20-year-old debutant chose the perfect time to open his account at Under-21 level as he slotted in Tom Cleverley's intelligent pass in the 67th minute to finally end the resistance of the visitors after they had fought back from 2-0 and 3-2 down. Andy Carroll and Hines both subsequently scored their second goals to give the final result a lopsided look.
England were cruising after headed goals from from Kieran Gibbs and captain Micah Richards inside the opening half-hour had given them a 2-0 lead. Arsenal FC's Gibbs nodded in a precise chipped cross from club-mate Theo Walcott before his captain powered in from close range after Michael Mancienne had flicked on Jack Wilshere's corner.
F.Y.R. Macedonia had played some enterprising football up to that point and were rewarded when Muarem's free-kick from close to the left flank deceived Scott Loach shortly before the break. Shortly after it was 2-2, Agim Ibraimi beating Mancienne to a hopeful punt forward and then the England No1 with a left-footed finish.
Parity was to last just a minute, Carroll making it a hat-trick of England headers with a near-post finish, although a crazy five-minute spell was completed when Gibbs sliced an Ibraimi corner into his own net to make the score 3-3. That was as good as it got for the spirited visitors, however, as England squandered a number of chances to restore their lead before Hines – a half-time replacement for Walcott – did just that.
Carroll (87) and Hines (90) then had the 20,074 crowd on their feet with England's fifth and sixth goals, though manager Stuart Pearce will be looking for defensive improvement when his side – three points behind Greece with a game in hand – return to action against Portugal at Wembley on 14 November.