Josh Onomah strikes leads England under-21s to win over Scotland

Josh Onomah's stunner inspired England Under-21s to a dominant 3-1 win over Scotland Under-21s.

The midfielder's spectacular half-volley fired the hosts to the top of Group Four as they brushed aside the Auld Enemy in a Euro 2019 qualifier in Middlesbrough.

Tammy Abraham added a second-half penalty and set up Dominic Solanke's late third after Chris Cadden had briefly made it 2-1.

The Young Lions have not lost a European qualifier since November 2011, a run of 28 games, but relieved England boss Aidy Boothroyd admitted his side avoided a major upset.

"It was a massive banana skin and I thought Scotland would cause us big problems, and they did," Boothroyd said. "It was really important because the game against the Dutch, where Scotland beat them 2-0, kept it all a bit too congested so this puts a little bit of distance between us, the Scots and the Dutch.

"It was as tough as I expected it to be. We could have played better -- particularly in the second half -- but overall I'm really pleased with the result and we have to see if we can build on the result in Andorra [on Tuesday[."

A day after the seniors limped past Slovenia to qualify for the World Cup, the youngsters provided the excitement and they head to Andorra on Tuesday looking to take control of the group.

Scotland beat Netherlands 2-0 last month to open the group up but showed little sign of life after Onomah's 14th-minute screamer.

The visitors survived a couple of scares with John Souttar forced into late clearances but he could do nothing to stop Onomah.

The Tottenham midfielder, on loan at Aston Villa, collected the ball after a corner was only half cleared and arched a looping volley into the top corner from 25 yards.

Four minutes later Abraham poked Dominic Calvert-Lewin's cross against the post and Demarai Gray shot wide as England threatened more goals.

The hosts dictated the tempo with the game in danger of becoming a procession for the Young Lions.

They needed a second to underline their dominance and Abraham almost found it after 33 minutes, only for Liam Smith to block his snapshot.

Scotland failed to lay a glove on England in the first half, barely looking like the side which had beaten Netherlands, with £15 million man Oliver Burke and in-form St Mirren striker Lewis Morgan anonymous.

And Solanke should have added gloss to a fine first-half display but miscued his six-yard header wide just before the break.

But England did double their lead in fortuitous circumstances four minutes after the break when Souttar was ruled to have felled Abraham in the box.

Replays showed Abraham tripped himself up but Swansea's on-loan Chelsea striker still scored from the spot.

England seemed to be strolling to victory but they slipped up with 12 minutes left when Joe Gomez was caught out and Oliver McBurnie teed up Cadden for a tap-in.

But a minute later Solanke restored the hosts' two-goal lead and sealed the win when Abraham unselfishly set him up after being sent clear by Onomah's brilliant through ball.

Gomez almost made it 4-1 with two minutes left but was denied by Fulton's excellent reflex stop.

On Onomah, Boothroyd said: "He's one of those players that you're never quite sure what his best position is. Is he a number 10 or a number eight who breaks from midfield?

"He has started scoring goals. He didn't score many for Tottenham but he seems to score for us, all the teams I've had him in: under-19s, 20s and 21s. Getting the game time [at Villa] is helping him to improve and helps us.

"If you and I tried it 100 times it wouldn't go in at all but he's talented enough he'll score half of them. It's one of those that it hits a steward or it goes in the top corner. Luckily it went in."