‘We Still Believe’ read the banner flying from the top tier of England’s national stadium prior to their game against Slovenia last night, although the fact it was quietly folded away long before the end of the 90 minutes says it all about the performance from the Three Lions.

Unfortunately for England, their chances of winning the World Cup next summer are much fainter than Scotland’s hopes of simply making it to the party on this evidence.

The whole occasion was something of a damp squib. For all of Hampden’s many faults, and for all that is impressive about Wembley, the lack of atmosphere at the self-proclaimed home of football last night just goes to prove that a stadium two-thirds full on a weeknight, even with a crowd creeping over 60,000, can provide an unworthy backdrop for top class international football.

Thankfully, this was anything but. A goal from Harry Kane (who else?) in stoppage time got the win papered over cracks in this England side the size of the gap under the Wembley Arch.

Despite the general apathy, England started on the front foot, and Slovenia struggled to get out in the early stages.

Josip Ilicic was claiming for a penalty in the visitor’s first foray into the England area under Joe Hart’s challenge, with the England keeper taking the ball just before the attacker could get there.

Slovenia should then have hit the front when Atalanta dangerman Ilicic floated a wonderful ball into the area to lay a goal on a plate for Roman Bezjak, only for the attacker to miss his kick completely.

England hit back as Marcus Rashford fed Jordan Henderson to test Jan Oblak seriously for the first time with a curling effort that the keeper was equal to, but the Slovenians were looking comfortable.

That was until just before the break, when a Kane header from Rashford’s corner found the net, only for German referee Felix Zwayer to award a free-kick for a challenge by Raheem Sterling on the keeper.

The bookings were piling up for the Slovenians as we approached the interval as they attempted to stymie England any way they could, and Rashford almost caught out Oblak at his near post from one of the numerous free kicks they conceded.

The mild indifference that greeted the half-time whistle though told its own story.

The second half started in the same dismal fashion, but England finally burst into life on the hour as Sterling played in Rashford, but Bezjak got back in the nick of time to clear his chip over Oblak off the line.

Captain Bostjan Cesar then blocked from Sterling as the Slovenian defending got more desperate, before Kane flashed wide from a good position.

The biggest cheers of the night though were saved for the numerous attempts at landing paper aeroplanes on the Wembley pitch from the gods, and you wouldn’t be surprised to see one of the successful attempts make the highlights reel.

A pitch invader showed some of the nimblest footwork from an Englishman all evening to evade three lunging challenges by the chasing stewards, before Kane stepped up to finally give the supporters something football-related to cheer.

Kyle Walker burst down the right and swung a low ball in that Kane attacked at the near post, and his 14th goal since the start of September wriggled through Oblak’s grasp and into the net.

Despite the last-gasp twists here and at Hampden that give Scotland crucial momentum going into Sunday's do-or-die decider in Slovenia, there was plenty here to occupy the thoughts of Gordon Strachan in the coming days. Ilicic will have to be marshalled closely, and there is a cynical side to Srecko Katanec's men that the Scots will have to match.

When all was said and done, England had booked their place in Russia, where the real test of this side awaits. Will Scotland join them? We still believe.