Wales' youngsters grew up in front of boss John Toshack's eyes to claim the first away win of their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group 4 qualifying campaign.

Toshack had been shorn of 10 senior players for this long trip to the shores of the Caspian sea and he must have had doubts in the back of his mind that this bunch of raw youngsters could handle an occasion like this. Azerbaijan may not be a major power but they are hard, physical and experienced, and the Wales boys brigade stood up to the task.

Wolves midfielder David Edwards scored what proved to be the eventual winner in the first half and from then on he and his team-mates battled for every inch to produce a victory. There were only 79 Wales fans in this stadium and, having had their tickets given to them free by the FA of Wales, they must have loved every minute.

Reading forward Simon Church made his full Wales debut as Toshack fielded another very young side. Church had won his first cap last Friday as a late substitute in the friendly with Estonia and had impressed in training enough here to be on from the start this time.

Edwards replaced the injured Jack Collinson while Oldham fullback Neil Eardley came into defence and there was an ominous start for Wales when both their young midfielders Owen Ramsay and captain Joe Ledley were cut down from behind by bad tackles in the opening two minutes.

If they did not know beforehand they knew then that this was going to be a physical battle against a side determined to take advantage of the youth of their opponents. Azerbaijan had plenty of the ball and were being roared on by a partisan crowd but at least Wales were being helped by the fact that the 90-degree temperatures they had experienced all week had been replaced by a cloudy windy night.

Slowly Wales were coming to terms with the occasion. And from one corner Ramsey saw a shot charged down and Craig Morgan's effort was blocked before being hacked clear.  Church was presented with a good opening when he latched on to a square pass from Vladimir Levin and set off towards goal only to be stopped by a desperate saving tackle from Rashad Sadigov.

Then goalkeeper Farhad Veliyev had to snatch the ball from Robert Earnshaw's toes, with the little striker then seeing a downward header from a Ramsey corner blocked a foot from the line. Earnshaw was involved again with brave running and a cross from the right when Wales took the lead three minutes from the break. Veliyev crunched the ball out, with it hitting Church and rebounding for Edwards to fire home.

Azerbaijan brought on Branimir Subasic for Ramin at the break and then Javid Huseynov for Nabiyev soon after the restart and the hosts were putting Wales under constant aerial pressure. Wayne Hennessey made a good save at his post to keep out a Subasic effort.

The pressure continued, and Hennessey was seeing plenty of action but the big Wolves keeper was up to the task making a string of good saves. The hard working Earnshaw was replaced by Sam Vokes with Wales still battling hard to maintain their lead.

Hennessey saved well again after 76 minutes pushing Huseynov's header wide. Wales then sent on youngster Owain Tudur Jones for Church, who had worked himself into the ground chasing and harassing.

Hennessey was booked for time wasting but Wales were hanging on and they full deserved their victory after a performance that gives Toshack plenty to work with in the future.