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Vokes 'gutted' at cruel twists of fate.

DISAPPOINTED young Welsh striker Sam Vokes said he and his team-mates left Villa Park with their heads held high.

And Vokes said the Welsh Under-21s' showing against the English indicated a bright future for the nation at senior level.

"We are very disappointed obviously. I think over the two legs against England we proved we are a nation very much coming on in footballing terms," said Vokes.

"I think we did give them a fright in what was a massive game for us. We were playing against top-class players in front of a massive crowd and it can only help us develop.

"We played very good football in a game where a lot of people expected us to get turned over 2-0 or 3-0."

Vokes was involved in two pivotal moments at Villa Park - deflecting the ball into his own net for England's second goal and hitting the post with a shot on 85 minutes.

"I was gutted that my shot came back off the post," added Vokes. "It was unfortunate one of their goals came back off me too.

"Perhaps then you do start to think that it is not going to be your night. But the lads have come away with their heads held high."

Wales boss Brian Flynn said he felt over the two legs his side had done enough to progress.

Flynn commented: "I think we took more out of the two games than they did.

"I'm bitterly disappointed with the result, but I'm also incredibly proud of how we performed."

England boss Stuart Pearce said he wished both teams could have made it through to next year's European Championships.

"That was probably as close as we've come to losing our 26-game unbeaten record over 90 minutes," Pearce said. "I don't think that another team in Europe could have given us a bigger test."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 15, 2008
Words:308
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