Fleet’s top scorer Darren McQueen capped his promotion season at club level with a brace at international level as his two goals gave England C a 2-1 win against the Panjab FA.
The 22-year-old striker made his debut for England C at Solihull Moors’ Damson Park and struck either side of half-time, with Jack Powell also earning a cap as he came off the bench on 65 minutes to help steer England over the line.
McQueen opened the scoring on 34 minutes, after earlier seeing a header saved, when he broke the Panjab back line, racing on to a through ball by Chester’s James Alabi to slide an accurate shot just over goalkeeper Ash Malhotra.
Rajpal Virk picked up the scraps from a free-kick on 55 minutes to fire Panjab level but within seven minutes, McQueen grabbed his second. Darlington’s David Ferguson bundled a low cross through a crowd and McQueen, possibly unbalanced, managed to hook a shot goalwards that found its way over the line.
With Powell on for the last 25 minutes, an experimental England C saw the game out to record a 2-1 win.
McQueen reflected on his performance with high hopes for another run-out at international level and he told Sikh TV: “It was a tough game, they put up a good fight. We had the cutting edge in front of goal. To score two goals on my debut after getting promoted with my parent club is a dream. For the winner, I thought I just needed to get a toe on it, I dug it out and was looking at it, saying please go over the line. I didn’t do myself any harm today so hopefully will play for England C again.”
McQueen also declared his hopes for the new season off the back of a great year at club level. “We’ve been excellent at Ebbsfleet,” he said. “We scored the most goals, but were unlucky to finish second and the team who beat us to it deserved it. I finished top scorer so it was a good season though. I’m planning to stay at Ebbsfleet, go forward with them in the National League and hopefully go up again.”
England C play the Jersey FA side in the Channel Islands on Tuesday before squaring up against Slovakia in November.