Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeeeep! It's all over. After a scrappy first half in which they were reduced to trying long range pot-shots by a mediocre but obdurate Montenegro team, England have won with ease. They're one win against Poland away from qualifying for Brazil 2014. They lead Group H by one point, from Ukraine.
GOAL! England 4-1 Montenegro (Sturridge 90) Sturridge calmly dispatches the penalty, sending Poleksic the wrong way and prodding the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.
PENALTY FOR ENGLAND: Ivan Kecovic brings down Daniel Sturridge on the left-hand side of the Montenegro penalty area to concede a spot-kick
90+1 min: THere'll be three minutes of added time. Moments before England scored their third goal, I was writing an entry in praise of the manner in which they kept their heads in the face of what could have been a very tricky final 20 minutes in the wake of Dejan Damjanovic.
89 min: Germany, Belgium and Switzerland have all qualified for the World Cup tonight. ENgland will have to wait another few days, assuming they beat Poland.
85 min: Meanwhile in Cologne, Germany have beaten the Rep of Ireland 3-0. I think you'd offered us that before the game, mosrt Irish people would have snapped your hand off. England substitution: Steven Gerrard off, James Milner on. James Milner! The English Vladimir Volkov! THose obsessed with who captains the England team (ie almost all English football journalists) will be pleased or appalled to learn that Wayne Rooney has taken the armband, to double the collection of velcro straps he's wearing on his upper body tonight.
81 min: England susbtitution: Andros Townsend off, Jack Wilshere on. The departing winger gets a rousing round of applause for his efforts - he's been good tonight. Montenegro substitution: Stevan Jovetic off, Filip Kasilica on.
79 min: That was a fine strike from Townsend, who picked up the ball about 40 yards from goal in the centre, galloped forward under pressure from assorted Montenegrins, before shooting from about 25 yards, only to wheel away in delight upon seeing his right-footed knee-high drive go in off the right upright.
GOAL! England 3-1 Montenegro (Townsend 78) I call for a generous serving of humble pie, as the debutant surely wraps things up for England with a fine goal from long range.
77 min: To their immense credit, England haven't panicked and been reduced to ... ooh, hold on.
74 min: Montenegro substitution: Simon Vukcevic, on. Vladimir Volkov off. Yes, that Simon Vukcevic, formerly of Blackburn Rovers, who failed to establish himself under any of the 15 managers he played under during his week at Ewood Park.
72 min: In the moments prior to that Montenegro goal, England had them on the ropes. Leighton Baines should have picked out Wayne Rooney with a low cross from the left, but didn't. Welbeck also had a fierce drive from 10 yards well saved by Poleksic.
GOAL! England 2-1 Montenegro (Damjanovic 71) From about 10 yards out, Dejan Damjanovic instinctively sticks out a leg to divert a diagonal Fatis Betiraj shot from the edge of the area past Joe Hart. Montenegro are back in this!
68 min: Wayne Rooney beats the Montenegro offside trap to rush on to a defence-splitting througfh ball down the inside right channel. Rather than shoot, he unselfishly holds the ball up before pulling it back towards Steven Gerrard, who's galloping through from the centre. The pass is less than inch-perfect, forcing Gerrard to check his stride before dragging the ball the wrong side of the upright. Poleksic gets a touch and concedes the corner, but the ball was going wide anyway.
65 min: England substitution: Michael Carrick on, Frank Lampard off. Looking at replays of that Stevan Jovetic shot from a moment ago - it was a thing of rare beauty. An absolute scorching shot from about 30 yards that rattled the crossbar, near the angle with the post.
63 min: Stefan Jovetic rattles the crossbar with a screamer from long range, moments after his team-mate Branko Boskovic had poked the ball into his own net from about 13 yards out and under no apparent pressure, while attempting to do ... something (you'll have to ask him what) with a harmless Danny Welbeck cross in the general direction of Daniel Sturridge from the left.
GOAL! England 2-0 Montenegro (Boskovic og 62) Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
59 min: Andros Townsend continues to justify his selection in the face of my earlier smarminess about his poor stats. At an England corner, he loiters with intent at the corner of the penalty area, then shoots low and hard when the ball is played his way. His shot is on target, through a thicket of legs and forces another decent ave from Poleksic.
58 min: "The Huntington library is in San Marino, California. Local time is 1:09 pm," writes Stan Tarazi, among many, many others.
55 min: Montenegro substitution: Savo Pavicevic off, Fatos Betiraj on. That's a right winger for a right-back.
54 min: Kyle Walker gets booked for a needless push on Stevan Jovetic, which means the right-back will be suspended for England's match against Poland next week. With Glen Johnson still injured, it probably means Phil Jones will fill in against the Poles.
53 min: VLadimir Volkov gets booked for complaining after his team-mate Branko Boskovic had been penalised for a foul on Frank Lampard.
50 min: Monetenegro win a throw-in on the edge of the final third, which their long-throw specialist Vlad Volkov Delaps towards the near post. It's a very, very long throw indeed, but Gary Cahill heads clear.
GOAL! England 1-0 Montenegro (Rooney 48) Andros Townsend gallops down the right flank from inside his own half, before crossing into the penalty area. His cross fails to beat the first defender, whjo can only head the ball into the path of Danny Welbeck on the edge of the penalty area. Poleksic saves, but can only parry the ball to the edeg of the six-yard box, from where Rooney slots it home.
Second half: England kick off, with that inconsiderate brass band that follows them around blasting out God Save The Queen. They're a bit like inconsiderate people you find on public transport wearing rubbish headphones that force those around them to passively listen to terrible noises they've no interest in hearing - not worth getting too upset about, but infuriating all the same.
On Roy Keane's beard ...
One from sexy pirating's Italian football expert James Horncastle, the other from unsexy science-mongering's Dara O Briain.
An email from Phil Sawyer ...
"Ian Copestake's in San Marino on a Friday night and he's in a library?" he harrumphs. "He needs to take a long hard look at himself."
Ukraine have beaten Poland 1-0 in Kharkiv ...
As things stand, they lead Group H. In the unlikely event that England's players can't figure out a way past their plucky bus-parking opponents in the second half, they'll probably have to settle for a play-off place.
Bendtner watch ...
Nicklas Bendtner has scored both Denmark goals to put his side 2-1 up against Italy. And to think some people had wirtten him off. I've been saying he'd come good for years. Many, many, many, many years ...
An email from Ian Copestake ...
"My self-loathing levels are particularly high today as I find myself drawn to the MBM despite being in the Huntington Library in San Marino," he writes. "It is a place of research excellence and seemingly boundless resources. Not unlike our own FA."
Half-time: After dominating throughout a first half in which they did everything but score, England's players will be frustrated as they go in for their half-time brew. They should have put the match well beyond the vistiors by now, but have thus far failed to trouble the scoreboard operator.
45 min: Sturridge goes close again, attempting to slot home from close range at the near post, only to be denied by a fine last-ditch tackle from Savic.
44 min: Daniel Sturridge shoots from outside the penalty area and his long-range effort takes a wicked defelction off a defender, loops up in the air and bounces agonisingly wide of the upright.
42 min: Coinsidering how utterly dominant they've been in this half, it seems inconceivable that they're going to go in at half-time without being at least one goal to the good. Montenegro surge forward courtesy of Stevan Jovetic, who is crowded off the ball by a posse of England defenders.
39 min: Andros Townsend picks up the ball on the right flank in acres of space, gallops forward, cuts inside and unleashes a shot with his left foot. His low drive forces Poleksic to dive to his left and save and the rebound falls for Wayne Rooney. He shoots wide of the right post from a narrow angle, when he might well have picked out one of the waiting Daniels - Sturridge and Welbek - with a pull-back.
38 min: Good work from Andros Townsend, who does well to nick the ball from Stefan Savic on the right flank deep in Montenegro territory, before pinging the ball inside towards Rooney. The Manchester United striker plays it sideways to Steven Gerrard, who scuffs his low shot from the edge of the penalty area into the waiting arms of Poleksic.
35 min: Another corner from England, which Gerrard swings in from the right. Stefan Savic leaps highest and puts it out for another corner on the other side. Leighton Baines takes this one, which Vlad Volkov heads clear in the face of an aeriel challenge from Gary Cahill.
33 min: Steven Gerrard brings a fine save out of Poleksic with a fizzing drive from distance that bounced in front of the keeper. Poleksic did very well to get down low to his left and palm the ball around the post. Considering the patronising rounds of applause Joe Hart gets whenever he manages to hoof the ball clear without tripping over his own feet, that save should be enough to secure Poleksic the man of the match award.
33 min: The official FA party line on that pitiful effort that dribbled wide off Danny Welbeck's shoulder.
31 min: Montenegro win a free-kick about 40 yards from the England goal, well right of centre. Branko Boskovic sends the ball into the mixer, where one of his team-mates is penalised for offside.
30 min:One can't help but feel that if more of these half-chances being spurned by England fell to anyone other Danny Welbeck, they'd be actuall full chances. This time, from a corner, he attempts to flick the ball home at the near post with his forehead, but succeeds only in shouldering it harmlessly wide.
26 min: Joe Hart races out of his area to hack clear, but the ball drops kindly for Elsad Zverotic. He tries his luck from a long way out, but his effort flies well over the bar.
I spoke too soon: Ukraine have gone a goal up against Poland - as things stand, they top Group H in-running.
22 min: Leighton Baines didles Branko Boskovic down the left-hand side, before pulling the ball back diagonally towards Danny Welbeck at the near post. Welbeck wriggles past one defender and shoots from a tight angle - his shot is on target, but doesn't beat the keeper.
Elsewhere in Group H: It's scoreless between Ukraine and Poland in Kharkiv, with 23 minutes to go. That's a decent scoreline for England.
England band watch: The England band are at Wembley and are currently playing a hi-octane speeded up version of the chorus of Ring of Fire. They really must be stopped.
17 min: Wayne Rooney drills the ball low and hard across the Montenegro penalty area, about 15 yards from goal, but his pass is behind Sturridge. Moments later, Lampard squares the ball in similar fashion for Steven Gerrard, who shoots over the bar.
16 min: Montenegro's first attack of note ends when Dejan Damjanovic is penalised for offside while attempting to dart in behind the England back four to get on the end of a Stevan Jovetic dink over the top.
14 min: Another free-kick for England, in much the same position as the previous one. Leighton Baines steps up to take this one and sends an inviting outswinger towards the far post. Vukasin Poleksic rushes off his line to clear with an emphatic two-fisted punch.
14 min: England win a free-kick about 40 yards from the Montenegro goal, which Steven Gerrard curls towards the inside left channel. Savo Pavicevic heads clear for Montenegro.
11 min: Danny Welbeck sends another shot from distance whistling wide.
10 min: A leaden-footed first touch by Andros Townsend ruins a two-on-one overlap down the right for England. He was attempting to prod the ball wide to his overlapping full-back Kyle Walker, but miscues and allows Stefan Savic to slide in and hack clear. Townsend and Walker are seeing plenty of the ball early doors and linking up well.
9 min: England's players crowd around Poleksic, who has played one match, a friendly, in the past two years, as they wait for Leighton Baines to whip in the corner. He does exactly that, but Montenegro clear again.
8 min: Gerrard picks out Rooney in space and from outside the penalty area, he tries a shot from distance. The ball takes a deflection from a defender, loops up in the air and out for a corner, not before scaring the bejaysus out of Montenegro goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic.
6 min: Halfway inside his own half, Andros Townsend picks up the ball from Wayne Rooney and pings it wide to Kyle Walker who is charging forward on the overlap. England advance, their dominance in these early stages almost total. Early indications suggest they should win this match at a canter.
5 min: Steven Gerrard tries to rampage forward with the ball at his feet, but is dispossessed by a robust challenge from Montenegro enforcer Nikola Drincic.
4 min: Wayne Rooney tries unsuccessfully to time a run but is penalised for offside.
3 min: Daniel Sturridge wins a corner for England, smashing the ball out of play off Stefan Savic. Leighton Baines trots over to swing the ball in from the left, but Montenegro clear.
2 min: Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker combine down the right flank, before moving the ball into the centre. Frank Lampard shuffles it sideways to Danny Welbeck, who shoots high and wide from just outside the penalty area.
1 min: Montenegro kick off, their players dressed in red shirts, red shorts and red socks, all with gold trim. England's players wear white shirts with black numbers black shorts and white socks. Well, I say black, but it could be very navy blue. "Tonight England are playing a nation that has the same population as Bristol," intones ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley with much gravitas.
The teams are in the tunnel
They march out, hand in hand with their mascots, looking suitably stony faced. This is Very Important. Ther referee removes the match ball from the official match ball plinth, before the teams line up for the national anthems. Montenegros is first and the visitors throw their arms around each other's shoulders for its duration. Next up: God Save the Queen, which Joe Hart sings without dropping a note. That's a positive start from the England goalkeeper, who'll be happy with that.
Pre-match interview ...
Roy Hodgson speaks: Andros Townsend is playing very well at the momment, hje's got a good combination with Kyle Walker at his club side and he can beat a man. We see Rooney and Sturridge as players who are playing well for their club teams and will hopefully will be able to score a few goals."
My own view on Hart ...
... is that his current woes stretch back to that penalty shoot-out England lost against Italy at Euro 2012. Hart's unconvincing attempts to psyche out the Italians Grobbelaar-style were as risible as they were half-hearted and he was made to look a complete pillock by one Italian after another, not least Andrea Pirlo, who beat him with a marvellous panenka. I don't think Hart's ever recovered from that, but it's just a personal opinion that could be complete nonsense.
On ITV ...
Guest pundit Theo Walcott helps take the pressure off Joe Hart by stating he has to "treat this like the most important match of his life". Beside him, Roy Keane says Hart is "very arrogant" and "makes far too many mistakes". He says people think Hart should have been dropped for tonight's game, but counters that "I would have dropped him six months ago". He finishes his critique of England's No1 by saying "his technique has gone out the window" and points out that while he thinks England will win comfortably tonight, Montenegro's players will be delighted to see Hart's name on the opposition team-sheet.
Tonight's match in pictures ...
Jonny Weeks on our picture desk has set up this gallery of pictures for tonight's match and will be adding to it throughout the evening. Between my commentary and his visuals, it'll be like being at Wembley, except without the unpleasant chanting and smell of pee.
England v Montenegro line-ups
England (4-2-3-1) Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard, Lampard; Townsend, Rooney, Welbeck; Sturridge.
Subs: Ruddy, Smalling, Gibbs, Jones, Carrick, Milner, Barkley, Wilshere, Defoe, Lambert, Forster.
Montenegro (possible 4-1-3-2) Poleksic, Pavicevic, Savic, Jovanovic, Volkov; Kecojevic; Zverotic, Drincic, Boskovic; Jovetic, Damjanovic.
Subs: Blazic, Novakovic, Krkotic, Igumanovic, Janjusevic, Kasalica, Vesovic, Vukcevic, Dembasic, Beqiraj.
An email from Allen Ford in Ottowa
"Montenegro isn't the lowest-ranked team at Wembley tonite," he writes. "The entire Canadian squad (106 in the world!) is there to watch the match too! Canada is in town to play Australia at Craven Cottage next week. Good seats still available!" My sister lives in Canada, although I suspect she is unaware of the existence of a Canada football team, let alone their current whereabouts.
Dodgy goalkeeper corner ...
While Joe Hart's poor form is well documented, tongues will wag if his opposite number Vukasin Poleksic throws one into his own net tonight. The Montenegro goalkeeper having recently admitted that he fears he may be seen as corruptible, having served a two year suspension for failing to report a telephone call he took from somebody offering him money to help fix a game between his team Debrecen and Liverpool in 2010. Poleksic admitted he was "naive" to report the attempted bribe, which he did not accept before going on to let in four first-half goals in the match in question.
Stuff you might like ...
Many, many words have been spoken and written in the build-up to tonight's match and you can hear and read some of the best of them by clicking on the any or all of the following links.
• Jonathan Wilson, Jacob Steinberg and I were the guests as James Richardson hosted the latest episode of Football Weekly ... Extra
• Barney Ronay answered your questions in this afternoon's live webchat.
• Daniel Taylor commented on the tone of noises emanating from Roy Hodgson's fizzog during his pre-match press conference.
• Dominnic Fifield brought us news of Andros Townsend's likely starting berth in tonight's England line-up.
Team news ...
With Jack Wilshere likely to start on the bench and James Milner and Tom Cleverley out through injury, Andros Townsend is being tipped as a surprise starter on the right-hand side of England's midfield tonight, with Roy Hodgson obviously impressed by the 22-year-old Tottenham winger's return of no goals and no assists from six Premier League excursions this season. Indeed, of Townsend's 26 crosses in the Premier League this season, just four have found a team-mate. Townsend's cupboard o'credit is not entirely bare, however - he did score a fine goal against Dinamo Tiblisi in a Europa League qualifier.
The as yet unconfirmed selection of Townsend aside, England ought to line up much as expected, with out-of-sorts Joe Hart in goal, behind a back four comprising Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines, who fills in for the injured Ashley Cole. Bookended by Townsend on the right and Danny Welbeck on the left, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard will occupy the central midfield berths, with Wayne Rooney playing behind Daniel Sturridge up front.
A fairly mediocre Montenegro team arrive at Wembley seriously depleted by ijuries, which have ruled captain Mirko Vucinic, goalkeeper Mladen Bozovic and centre-back Marko Basa out of manager Branko Brnovic's plans. With defender Miodrag Dzudovic also doubtful, Brnovic cut a fairly forlorn figure at his Wembley press conference yesterday. "I'm sorry we are not complete," he said. "I was planning to play one great match. Even if we don't succeed, we did a great job in these qualifiers and this team has a bright future in front of them."
Good evening everybody ...
Welcome to our minute-by-minute coverage of England's penultimate World Cup qualifier in the build-up to Brazil 2014. Roy Hodgson's side currently lead Group H by a point and hold their destiny in their own hands with home matches against Montenegro and Poland remaining and for all the grumbling about the opften hamfisted and unattractive manner in which they've gone about the qualification process, it's a fine position to be in. Below them in the group, Ukraine and Montenegro are a point adrift, with the former yet to face Poland (h) and San Marino (a) and the latter taking on Moldova at home next Wednesday.
England are unbeaten throughout qualification so far, but have failed to register a victory against anyone other than Moldova or San Marino and were subjected to much criticism in the wake of their scoreless draw against Ukraine in the Donbass Arena, despite Hodgson's protests that it was a match in which not losing was more important than winning. Bearing that in mind, the manner in which England went about not losing was as stunning in its efficiency as it was unpleasant on the eye.