Tottenham's Eric Dier was on the scoresheet as one of a trio of Spurs players started England’s nervy 2-1 win over Slovakia at Wembley tonight.

Alongside Dier, Dele Alli played just in behind team-mate Harry Kane, himself deployed as a lone striker for Gareth Southgate’s team.

Both found themselves two of few positives from a first half which needed Dier’s flexible finish from a Marcus Rashford corner to pull the hosts level after Stanislav Lobotka’s third-minute opener.

Kane quietened after half-time but Alli would continue to be busy, turning creator for the hosts as they fashioned a number of opportunities before finally taking the lead with a 25-yard stunner from Rashford.

The poor start had shocked England, and Kane, fresh from his two goals against Malta on Friday night, worked tirelessly to chase down lost causes as England looked aghast at falling behind so early.

A quarter of an hour in he would forge his and England’s first real chance through sheer bloody mindedness. From a long clearance downfield, he held off former Premier League foe Martin Skrtel to win a corner with a low effort which was deflected behind.

He came closer from Rashford’s flag kick, finding the ball at his feet after Gary Cahill’s miscontrol, only to lose balance and let the chance go at the crucial moment.

The Spurs duo continued to provide England’s only opportunities as Slovakia stood firm. Alli brought down a right-wing cross from Rashford 20 minutes in, before his weak-looking shot was another to strike a Slovak body and go behind.

Dier, who had been quiet to this point, then brought the Three Lions level with a perfectly timed finish from Rashford’s delivery before the break, his third in an England shirt and his second from a corner.

Alli saw a shot blocked from a good position a minute after the resumption, following a brilliant give-and-go with the Manchester United winger.

He continued to drop into good positions and let Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain take over when struggling to find space to shoot himself, but Liverpool’s new £35 million man did not test Martin Dubravka.

And 11 minutes after the interval Kane and Alli, who had not enjoyed their usual flowing partnership, came close to combining at last.

Kane drifted in of the right, jinking beyond a number of Slovakia defenders and shooting across goal, with Alli the unwitting recipient of his effort, and ill-prepared to divert it goalwards.

Rashford would then go on to turn the game on its head with a superb finish to finally give England the lead for the first time on the night in a much-improved second-half performance.

Kane could claim some minor part in the goal after his run opened up space to allow Rashford a clear sight of goal, if any onlookers are feeling especially generous.

Alli, meanwhile, was cutting an increasingly frustrated figure in spite of England’s new-found lead, having toiled throughout with nothing to show for his efforts - and now outscored on the international stage by midfield partner Dier.

As England pressed for a third, a ball in from the right was begging for a turn and shot but his miss-control allowed it to run through and away to safety, in what would turn out to be his last contribution before being replaced by Jake Livermore in injury time.

England: Hart; Walker, Jones, Cahill, Bertrand; Henderson, Dier; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Sterling 82), Alli (Livermore 90), Rashford (Welbeck 82); Kane.

Not used: Heaton, Butland, Smalling, Stones, Keane, Cresswell, Chalobah, Vardy, Sturridge.