The Norwich City winger struck in the second half to move the Young Lions six points clear at the top of the group although the visitors caused problems for Gareth Southgate's sideEngland Under-21s moved further clear at the top of their qualification group as a solitary goal from Nathan Redmond secured a 1-0 win over Wales for Gareth Southgate's side.
The Norwich City winger smashed home after 56 minutes as the Young Lions made it 17 successive victories on home soil to move up to 19 points in Group 1, six ahead of second-placed Moldova.
|By Michael Keane
For a team who scored nine goals in their last outing, it was a frustrating night for the young Lions. The first half saw England huff and puff, whilst Wales looked deadly on the counter-attack.
Luckily for Southgate and his team, Nathan Redmond was on hand to step up and sparkle for the home side and ultimately secured the three points for England.
Wales can be proud of their performance, and could have been leaving the Ipro stadium with a point were it not for a slight deflection that took Lawrence’s bending shot just wide of the upright.
Pacey forward Wes Burns burst past Everton defender John Stones and looked to have found the corner with his low effort at goal but, fortunately for England, the ball flew inches wide of Jack Butland's far post.
England then came close to opening the scoring after 37 minutes as former Birmingham City man Redmond raced onto Jack Robinson's through ball but he could only scuff wide after a neat first touch set him up for the shot.
After being frustrated for much of the first period, England started the second half brightly and duly took the lead after 56 minutes at Pride Park.
Redmond, who had bent a delicious shot from range agonisingly wide moments before, broke the deadlock as he cut inside from his position on the left wing and hammered an effort low past Connor Roberts and into the net.
Saido Berahino should have made it two after 66 minutes but he headed harmlessly over the bar when well placed after an excellent cross from the right from Crystal Palace loan star Tom Ince.
Wales came within inches of an equaliser in the closing moments as Tom Lawrence's shot was deflected just wide of the far post but Southgate's men held on to secure all three points.