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National Teams (56)

It was a stalemate at Spartans Academy last night, as Scotland School boys drew 1-1 with the Republic of Ireland in the final match of the 2015 Centenary Shield. Whether the game was going to be a good one pre-match, was in doubt as there was nothing to play for. Ireland had already wrapped up the Shield last time out, defeating England by a goal to nil and Scotland sat in fourth place. Once the anthems had been completed and referee Calum Murray blew for kick off those doubts were swept aside and the two hundred or so spectators were treated to a gripping match.

Scotland knew that it would take an almighty effort to cultivate a decent result as Ireland came into the game with three wins from their three games, scoring six goals in the process. It was an even start as both sides were matching each other up, looking for that early goal but not wishing to concede at the back. The first chance of note fell to Darragh Markey, as he picked the ball up on the left hand side of the box. He jinked to his left to give himself some room and took a shot that dragged just wide of the goal, clipping the side netting.

Ireland were really pushing for the opening goal and a dipping free kick from Troy Carey looked destined for the bottom corner, however Scotland keeper Ben McKenzie made a stunning save to get his palm to the ball and tip it round the corner.

The deadlock was soon broken, though, as Connor Ellis for Ireland got the ball slipped through to him. He excellently spotted the goalkeeper rushing of his line and duly chipped him so the ball bounced over the line putting the Irish one up.

The goal invigorated the visitors and they took the pace, tempo and quality of the match to another level. Scotland struggled to keep pace with the Irish and as a result, were finding it increasingly difficult to stamp their authority on the game.

A chance did come their way though. James Hilton burst into the box and quickly fired a snapshot across the face of goal. If somebody in a blue shirt had been lurking at the back post it would have been an east tap in, however instead the ball rolled out and behind for a goal kick.

Another opportunity fell to the Scots just before the break. Despite all of the possession and intricate passes Ireland were stringing together, Jonathon Galloway found himself in behind after a wonderful over the top ball from Scott Burns. The ball was bouncing and his shot, despite Galloway’s best efforts to keep it low, the effort flew over the bar. 

Scotland schoolgirls made it three wins out of three as they comfortably beat a Welsh side struggling for form. Caitlyn Ross put the Scots in front midway through the first half before two goals in quick succession from Grace Molloy in the second half ensured a Scotland victory.
 
Scotland had not conceded a goal in their two victories in the Bob Docherty tourament going into this game whilst Wales had lost twice scoring just once but it was the Welsh who started the game with real vigour and purpose - an inswinging corner kick from captain Chelsea Deacon nearly finding its way in.
 
The Welsh pressure intensified as they won another corner four minutes in, this time Deacon's cross finding Ella Powell who guided her header narrowly wide.
 
Scotland responded to the early warning signs well - Monica Anderson galloped down the left hand side beating several Welsh defenders but couldn't deliver that final ball.
 
As the sun began to dip behind the clouds so the Scottish girls began to stamp their authority on this match and dominate possession, Amy Muir fired just over from distance before a corner from Elena Brown found Nicole Cameron who agonisingly put her header inches over the bar.
 
12 rminutes into the game Scotland were in complete control and took full advantage - a tantalizing through ball was played for Ross who kept her composure to stroke the ball past Cardiff City goalkeeper Emily Poole to put the Scots 1-0 infront.
 
Brown was beginning to create havoc in the Welsh half striding past challenges and her long ball to Ross had the away sides defence in a mode of panic - The Scots unlucky not to add a second.
 
On the 18 minute mark Wales Ellie Burrows was carried off after a poor challenge left her unable to continue. Her replacement Chloe Griffiths brought on to try and inject some pace into the team in red.
 
Both teams began to stall in an attacking sense in the remaining minutes of the first half with a real midfield battle beginning to take place and the teams went in at half-time with it all till to play for at 1-0.
Scotland School Girls lifted the Bob Docherty International trophy today following a narrow victory over The Republic of Ireland. The only goal of the match came from Scottish midfielder Kaela McDonald in the first half. The Scots finished the tournament with a 100% record and the Irish were unbeaten up until the final game so both deserve a lot of praise.
 
The match was always going to be a cracker; both teams had the opportunity to win the Championship at the end of play so they would give it everything throughout the match. With Scotland sitting on nine points and Ireland on seven, whoever won would take the trophy home.
 
Scotland started as the brighter team and the first chance of the match fell the way of the hosts; striker Monica Anderson shot from the edge of the box but her effort was held by Rachel Baynes in the Irish goal.
 
A few minutes later Scotland had another chance and would’ve taken the lead had it not been for the defensive efforts of Ireland; Hannah Robertson fired in a corner which rose over the oncoming goalkeeper, the ball then fell to Kaela McDonald whose shot was blocked, Anderson then got hold of the ball and fired a shot towards goal but Irish defender Sadhbh Doyle managed to slide in and block the shot and the ball flew out for a corner – which was cleared by the Irish defence.
 
Around twenty minutes in, Scotland took the lead; Robertson launched in a corner once again, and like the first effort, the ball fell at the feet of McDonald, but this time the midfielder made no mistake and powered the ball into the bottom corner to put Scotland into the lead.
 
Ireland then instantly had a chance; Katie Bolger-Burdis was slipped through behind the defence but her shot crept just over the bar ensuring that Scotland went into the break ahead.
Scotland Schoolgirls continued their fine start to this year’s Bob Docherty International Tournament with a narrow victory over England. There were a limited number of chances for both sides in a close contest but, a few minutes from time, Hannah Robertson slotted the ball into the bottom corner to send the Scottish fans into raptures and ensure a Scottish win.
 
Scotland have now played two games in the tournament and have won both; the other a win over Northern Ireland in the opening match. Next up for the Scots is a tough test against Wales before taking on the Republic of Ireland on the final day.
 
Matches between the two nations are always hotly contested at all levels of competition – both sets of players were flying the flag for their respective countries and it definitely showed with some strong challenges throughout the match.
 
The first chance of the match fell the way of the reigning champions England; tricky winger Molly Pike was played through and she unleashed a shot which was destined for the top corner but Scotland goalkeeper Kiera Gibson pulled off a fantastic diving save and the ball was cleared.
 
From then, England began to take control in the middle of the park and looked to have the better of the Scots. On the stroke of half time The Three Lions almost took the lead; they won a free kick around twenty-five yards from goal and Pike hit a strong shot but the ball crept just over the bar.
 
The referee then brought an end to a very even first half. Neither side wanted to give anything away and it definitely showed with a cagey thirty minutes of football; England perhaps had a slight edge in terms of chances but the match was finely balanced.
England’s bid to retain the Bob Docherty Cup began with a thrilling game against the Republic of Ireland. First half goals from England duo Molly Pike and Phoebe Warner saw them go into the half time break 2-0 up. The Republic of Ireland, however, launched an incredible fight back with Sadhbh Doyle scoring a double to see the game finish 2-2. England won the resulting penalty shootout 3-2 thanks to heroics from goalkeeper Hannah Hampton. The result leaves England with two points and the Republic of Ireland with one point after their first game.
 
England performed excellently in the first half with right midfielder, Molly Pike, the stand out. After causing the Republic of Ireland defence plenty of problems right from the start, she had the honour of scoring England’s opening goal four minutes in. Bronwen Thomas played a delightful through ball into the penalty area that was weighted perfectly for the England number 17. Without having to break her stride Pike neatly side footed the ball into the top right hand corner of the net. England could not have wished for a better start.
 
Despite the English pressure the Republic of Ireland nearly equalized soon afterwards. The ball fell to Katie Bolger Burdis inside the penalty area but she fired her shot wide of the target.
 
In the eighth minute of the game England threatened again through Pike. After another great run down the right wing she unleashed a fierce shot towards goal. Irish goalkeeper, Rachel Baynes, was positioned well and expertly caught the ball to smother the chances of any further danger.
 
16 minutes into the game England found themselves 2-0 up. Miri Taylor, on the left flank, regained possession of the ball superbly high up the field. She then drove straight towards the byline and drilled a low cross into the six-yard area. Arriving to meet the cross was England’s Phoebe Warner, who converted excellently.
 
With a few more half chances for the remainder of the first half England appeared to be in a great position at the break.
Friday, 28 November 2014 23:11

Welsh Colleges inflict defeat on Scots counterparts

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At a wet and windy Broadwood, Welsh Colleges came out on top against Scottish Colleges in a close fought battle. The international challenge match was the thrid time the sides have met in as many years with the Welsh outfit coming out on top on all three occasions.
 
Both teams started positively with Welsh Colleges nearly scoring from two early efforts, one was a bit of a scramble in the box that didn’t cross the line and the other was well hit shot from distance from Wales number eight. Scottish Colleges also had two early chances with Paul Cottrell, of Dundee and Angus College, nearly managing to wriggle free and through on goal but was thwarted by some last ditch defending.
 
In the end, it was Scottish Colleges with Paul Cottrell, of Dundee and Angus College, who broke the deadlock to make it 1-0 to Scotland on eighteen minutes. Cottrell composed himself and slotted a neat low shot past the keeper after a great pass through from Brian Ross, of New College Lanarkshire (Cumbernauld Campus).
 
Welsh Colleges equalised on twenty eight minutes with an excellent volley from Kostya Georgievsky after a lovely chipped pass over the Scottish defence. Welsh tails were up but Scotland responded positively and nearly took the lead when Sean Stewart, of Edinburgh College (Granton Campus) broke through the Welsh defence but was denied by an excellent save from the Dan Evans, the Wales number one.
 
With the game about to go into stoppage time, Welsh Colleges nicked a goal from corner with a flicked header at the front post from Kostya Georgievsky, grabbing his second of the game. The sides went into the break 2-1 to Welsh Colleges.
Scotland Under-16s hopes of retaining the Victory Shield were dealt a blow with a 2-1 defeat at St Mirren Park on Friday evening.
 
Liam McKenna and Jack White gave the visitors a 2-0 lead, but Jack Aitchison’s late goal wasn’t enough to snatch a point. 
 
Having won the Victory Shield for the first time in fifteen years last time around, Scotland were looking to open their defence with a win but had to avoid a scare within the opening two minutes of the match. 
 
A ball in from Cormac Lawlor on the right found it’s way to Stephen Mallon, and only a fine stop from Scotland goalkeeper Aidan McAdams prevented Scotland from conceding in the early stages.
 
Scotland skipper Jack Adamson’s bursting run saw the Hibs striker run at the heart of the Northern Irish defence, beating three men in the process in what was Scotland’s most prominent attack of the first half.
 
Midway through the first half, Scotland had the opportunity to draw level. A corner from the right dropped at the feet of Owen Gallacher, but his stabbed shot was scrambled clear by the Northern Irish defence.
 
Two minutes later, Gallacher turned Lucas Galashan and lashed his shot into the side netting, with the majority of the 572 inside St Mirren Park thinking he had scored.
 
On the half hour mark, Rangers’ Liam Burt spotted Northern Ireland goalkeeper Conor Larkin off his line and tried his luck from range, but his audacious effort dropped narrowly wide of the post.
 
The visitors then did take the lead on thirty six minutes. Stephen Mallon curled a left footed free kick to the far post and Liam McKenna was on hand to fire a header past Aidan McAdams. 
 
Northern Ireland continued to press Scotland and went into half time with a deserving 1-0 lead.
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 22:16

Scotland's youngsters fightback to beat Poland

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Poland came right out the traps and won a first minute corner taken by Mikolaj Kwietniewski. The Scottish defence had a few chances to get it clear but it took the referee to award a free kick for handball for the danger to pass.
 
Poland deservedly scored in the second minute. Przemyslaw Macierzynski done extremely well to win the ball in the centre circle before he surged forward 30 yards without a challenge then slipping Bartosz Wiktoruk in on the right hand side who takes a touch before rifling a shot beyond Cameron Yates in goal.
 
As the first half continued both sides looked to a hold of the game in midfield although neither team was successful enough in their passing to take real control.
 
Both sides had early claims for a penalty but referee David Munro waved both away without a second glance.
 
A lovely ball by Scotland’s Liam Burt almost created a crossing opportunity wide on the right for Shaun Bowers but Tomasz Makowski cleared the danger for a throw in. 
 
Kilmarnock’s Lewis Morrison almost found himself through on Kacper Chorazka in the Polish goal after 15 minutes when some neat interplay between Charlie Gilmour, Burt and Morrison was bravely headed clear by Batliomiej Gajda.
 
Jakub Obloj almost doubled Poland’s lead in the 18th minute when he found half a yard to fire a shot at Yates although fortunately for Scot Gemmill’s side it went harmlessly wide of the right hand post.
 
Kwietniewski delivered an inch perfect corner which Adam Chrzanowski couldn’t get to when all it needed was a touch to steer it home with Yates helpless.
 
Arsenal starlet Charlie Gilmour went close to equalising with an ambitious shot from 25 yards which dipped just over Choraska’s crossbar after moving considerably in flight.
 
Kwietniewski was booked after 23 minutes after going doing easily under a challenge from Lewis Bell.
 
Scotland continued to look for an opening in the Polish lines but they were well drilled in their tactical roles with Maximilian Funk and Damian Pawlowski in particular impressing.
 
Funk had the goal at his mercy in 35 minutes when he found himself free in the 18 yard box. Unfortunately for the Fortuna Düsseldorf midfielder he lifted his shot over the bar.
 
Scotland finally drew level after Owen Gallagher found himself in virtually an identical position to Funk a minute or so earlier although this time the Scot made sure of it and fired beyond Chorazka. It put the Scots on terms as the interval soon followed.
Scotland’s Under-21 team hosted the Netherlands in a goal-filled midweek encounter at Paisley’s St. Mirren Park.
 
Billy Stark’s babes were beaten comfortably by an exciting young Dutch team, as their hopes of reaching the European Championships in the Czech Republic next year were all but dashed.
 
A cool evening in Paisley attracted the handsome attendance of 3,002 highly vocal fans though, a very positive turnout for a dreary Wednesday night affair.
 
The Scots got the match underway and were full of running and ambition from the off, putting the pressure on the Dutch defence from an early set-piece. Kenneth McLean delivered a ball to Callum Paterson at the back post who managed to head the ball back into the danger area.
 
The ball eventually came back out to Ryan Fraser on the left who managed to pick out Stuart Armstrong, though the captain could only head wide of the left post.
 
After this initial flurry of chances the Dutch took a hold on the match, holding on to the ball effectively and passing it around the defence with patient build-up play.
 
Scotland were unfortunate not to take the lead shortly after though, as good work down the left by Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser led to a chance for Callum McGregor. The Celtic player managed to squeeze the ball under keeper Warner Hahn, but the target couldn’t be found as Chelsea’s Nathan Ake shepherded the ball wide of the right post.
 
Scotland had another chance to go ahead, this time through Ryan Fraser’s curling effort, but the shot went just a whisker wide of the wrong side of the post.
 
The Scots were defending well from the Dutch’s mounting attacks, but the dam was unfortunately unable to hold off much longer.
 
Some seriously silky skills from winger Quincy Promes saw him drag the ball past three Scotland players on the edge of the box before firing a whipped effort past Scotland’s Jordan Archer into the bottom left corner.
 
Scotland almost saw themselves level the tie but for the width of a goal post, as John McGinn’s daisy-cutter from 30 yards out cracked off the foot of the right hand post.
 
It was to be the Scot’s last chance of getting back into the match though, as Promes showed plenty of promise for the future with a masterclass in finishing late in the first half.
 
His second of the night came from a beautifully weighted ball out to the right by centre-back Karim Rekik, after which Promes gathered well and beat his man with ease before smashing a right-footed shot off the underside of the crossbar and into Archer’s net.
 
And the FC Twente starlet stamped his claim for inclusion in the senior World Cup squad by rounding off the hat-trick two minutes later. Promes was played through on goal into an acre of space before coolly firing past Archer to put the Dutch three nil up.
Thursday, 24 April 2014 10:38

Scots Colleges draw against English counterparts

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Scottish Colleges conceded late on to surrender a 1-0 lead to draw 1-1 with English Colleges at Gateshead International Stadium in Newcastle. 
 
The first half began with few chances for either side. Both sets of defenders did well to stop any meaningful efforts on goal, until the 39th minute where the Scots took the lead through Scott Alexander (Dumfries and Galloway College). Paul Caughey (New College Lanarkshire, Cumbernauld) pounced on a loose ball and threaded a lovely pass through to Alexander who took time to compose himself then fire across the keeper into the left hand corner.
 
The score-line remained the same with few chances for either side, despite a good call for a penalty against Scotland’s skipper, Ryan Cherrie (New College Lanarkshire, Motherwell) just before the half time whistle. English Colleges would count themselves unlucky to be behind at the break. 
 
Unlike the first half, a number of good chances were created in the second half. English Colleges wasted a few good opportunities mid-way through the second half with Thomson (New College Lanarkshire, Motherwell) in Scotland goal coming out on top.
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