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Scotland and Northern Ireland can't be split

Scotland Schoolboys 1

Cunningham 65'

Northern Ireland Schoolboys 1

Shelvin 55'
  • Friday, 26 February 2016
  • Lesser Hampden
  • Under 18´s
  • Centenary Shield

Andrew Petrie | YFS South East Region Journalist

The opening exchanges were dominated by Scotland, but the first real chance of the game fell to Northern Ireland. A fantastic through ball from Ronan Young found Adam McCracken’s run from left back, and he was able to square to Nathaniel Ferris, but the big striker fluffed his lines.
The away side continued to press with a good chance moments later. Captain Ronan Wilson went by his man easily and crossed to the back stick, where his ball found the head of Lloyd Anderson. The midfielder’s header crashed off the post before being cleared.
Another chance beckoned when Scotland failed to clear a free-kick. The ball dropped to Jonathon McCaw, who chested it down and then unleashed a powerful volley, but Scotland keeper Andrew Wilson was able to hold.
Ferris’ then got another chance after the ball was played through wide on the left, but his shot went just over the bar, ending a reasonably scrappy first half.
  • Half Time:
  • Scotland Schoolboys
  • 0-0
  • Northern Ireland Schoolboys
There continued to be little between the two teams, before a Scotland mistake in midfield allowed Ireland to counter. The ball came to Ronan Young on the left wing, who surged forward before curving in a cross straight to half-time substitute Matthew Shelvin. Shelvin nodded it into the far corner, making it 0-1 to Northern Ireland after 55 minutes.
Scotland almost hit back through Derryn Kesson. A quick free kick found Adam Kirkwood in acres of space, and the left-back’s cross was perfect for Kesson. However the winger couldn’t put his header on target.
It didn’t take them much longer to get the equaliser though. The first chance came from another free kick that Liam Strachan crossed in. Kyle Banner’s back post header went right across goal but no one could get a touch. But, substitute Seyon Koshoendo didn’t give up on it, chasing it to the touchline before taking on two men and driving towards the byline. He then drilled in a low ball that found John Cunningham, and the striker swung his left boot, planting it into the net. 1-1!
The match started to heat up, with ‘tasty’ challenges flying in. These tackles saw both Northern Ireland’s Ryan Nimick and Scotland captain Morgan Reid booked within a matter of minutes.
Northern Ireland threatened to pull away as the game came to its conclusion. There was a good chance created by Sean Toland. The winger worked his way down the touchline, forcing his way into the box and crossing. It deflected to Lloyd Anderson, but he trundled his shot wide. Scotland’s Cunningham was then booked for a bad foul in the build-up.
Shelvin almost got a second, as the ball broke down the left and he twisted and turned the centre-half inside out before putting his left-footed shot just wide.
The match then ended in drama, as Northern Ireland had a goal ruled out for offside. The ball was played to Ronan Young about 35 yards out, and the midfielder weaved it onto his left foot before firing a low shot that keeper Wilson couldn’t hold. It broke to Shelvin who tapped in, but as he wheeled away in celebration, he saw the linesman’s flag raised.
Scotland then went up the other end of the pitch, and an aerial challenge saw the ball fall into the path of substitute Mark Smith, putting him clear through. However, he skied his shot over the bar!
An exciting finale to an evenly-matched game. 
  • Full Time:
  • Scotland Schoolboys
  • 1-1
  • Northern Ireland Schoolboys


Scotland Schoolboys
Northern Ireland Schoolboys
1. Andrew Wilson
2. Kyle Banner
3. Adam Kirkwood
4. Josh MacDonald
5. Josh Cook
7. Derryn Kesson
6. Bradley Manson
8. Morgan Reid
11. Adam Martin
10. Liam Strachan
9. John Cunningham

12. Fraser Morton
13. Mark Smith (for Kesson 60’)
14. Callum Laing (for Kirkwood 67’)
15. Ryan McRitchie
16. Dominic Kane (for Martin 45’)
17. Seyon Koshoedo (for Manson 45’)
18. Lachie MacLeod (for Strachan 78’)
12. Jack Ferguson
2. Ronan Wilson
3. Adam McCracken
4. Caolan Marron
5. Karl Hamill
6. Ryan Nimick
7. Ronan Young
8. Lloyd Anderson
17. Matthew Henry
10. Jonathon McCaw
18. Nathaniel Ferris

9. Matthew Shelvin (for Ferris 45’)
11. Sean Toland (for McCaw 65’)
12. Reece Neale
13. Reece Kane
14. Matthew Kerr
15. Patrick Cafolla (for Henry 45’)
16. Josh Connery
Star Player
Scotland Schoolboys
Northern Ireland Schoolboys
Seyon Koshoedo. The half-time substitute changed the game for Scotland. They had previously lacked a cutting edge going forward, but the diminutive winger gave them a bit of flair going forward. He also showed some fantastic skill, taking on and going round players with ease, and setting up the equaliser.
Ronan Young. The midfielder controlled proceedings, spraying fantastic passes and through balls, as well as showing a good touch to go round players. He made Northern Ireland look constantly dangerous.
Magic Moment
Scotland Schoolboys
Northern Ireland Schoolboys
Some of Koshoedo's skills were fantastic, including roulettes and step-overs galore!
One pass of Ronan Young's absolutely split the defence, something he looked capable of doing all night.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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