The visitors started brightly and went in front after 9 minutes when Adam Salley chased a long ball by Conor Morgan and beat the English keeper with a low shot from an acute angle.
Northern Ireland dominated with Salley's speed causing problems for the home defence. The striker almost added a second goal when he met a low cross from Lyndon Kane but the keeper got down low to save. Ryan Noble-Walker then went close with a rasping 20 yard drive.
As half time approached Northern Ireland piled on the pressure with Andrew Hoey and Salley missing good opportunities to increase the leeway while Callum Byers was unfortunate to see his close range shot hit the bar and be scrambled away.
On the restart England upped the pace and Robert Black was narrowly off target with a good shot while Mustaphu Bundu went past Jason Craughwell in the Irish goal but overran the ball.
The home team drew level on 66 minutes when English captain Adam Curry beat Craughwell with a header from close range. Northern Ireland replied 4 minutes later with a similar goal as substitute Brad Lyons, making his international debut, rose high to connect with a free kick from Mark Sykes and plant a header just inside the upright.
Andrew Mooney caught the eye with a brilliant run from the half way line but his shot from the edge of the box was easily saved.
England drew level after 76 minutes when the Northern Ireland defence failed to clear a cross from the right and Robert Black reacted quickest to poke the ball home from 6 yards.
In the closing stages both sides pressed hard for the decider but honours finished even with Northern Ireland left to rue several missed chances in the first half which they totally dominated.
The team's next match is against the Republic of Ireland at Ballinamallard on St Patrick's Day, kick off 5.00 pm. The Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association is offering free entrance to any school or youth group wishing to attend the game. Any group wishing to gain free entrance should send their details by email to Edwin Ferris, NISFA Treasurer, at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a group permit.
Ben Doherty (c)
Brad Lyons replaced Hoey 59 minutes
Andrew Drylie replaced Noble-Walker 74 minutes
Jamie Dunne replaced Mooney 80 minutes