The SISFA U16 Girls squad travelled down to St George’s Park in eager anticipation of another intense and closely contested encounter versus their English counterparts at one of the most prestigious venues in the land. True to form, the biggest group of supporting parents a SISFA girls’ squad has ever taken down was to be treated to a positively thrilling encounter, and the archetypal game of two halves.
Scotland started the game very much on the front foot, taking the game to their illustrious opponents and not allowing them time to settle on the ball which in turn resulted in good Scotland possession in the England half. With the two Georgias, Adderley and Crooks, running the show in central midfield, openings started to appear in the England rear guard, one of which saw a very strong penalty claim waved away as Francesca Ogilvie was felled in the box. When the breakthrough did come, however, it was well worth the wait, as Charlotte Maconachie, who had been wreaking havoc down the left with her blistering pace, embarked on a lung-bursting run before dispatching the ball inside the keeper’s near post.
This was no less than Scotland deserved, and although England – clearly rattled by the Scots’ positive start – started to impose themselves more in an attacking sense, goalkeeper Keren Lumsden was having a quiet afternoon, thanks to the outstanding efforts of a very solid back four. What was to prove a key incident occurred just before half-time, however, as midfield maestro Georgia Adderley was on the receiving end of a challenge which was as heavy as it was late. Remarkably, no card was administered, and though she did exceptionally well to continue, this clearly hampered her effectiveness from here on in.
Half Time: England 0-1 Scotland
As expected, England came out of the traps all guns blazing at the start of the second period having altered their shape, whilst Scotland struggled a little to settle into their erstwhile rhythm. A few near things in front of goal served as a warning of what was to follow, as England drew level courtesy of an unfortunate ricochet from a corner.
It was now the Scots’ turn to be on the back foot as their opponents, visibly lifted, enjoyed a period of pressure leading to further opportunities, two of which they managed to take courtesy of some ruthless finishing. At no stage of the game were Scotland out of it, however, and something of a resurgence in the final fifteen minutes led to further pressure at the other end.
Unfortunately, however, the decision-making at critical moments in the final third just let the girls down when it mattered most, and at the final whistle there was a palpable sense of frustration and what might have been. The girls can and should, however, be very proud of an excellent all-round effort, and hopefully they will look back on a valuable experience in their footballing development. The coaching staff would like to thank them all and their parents for their support throughout.
Full Time: England 3-1 Scotland
Georgia Adderley (The Mary Erskine School)
Lydia Broadley (Lathallan School)
Kirsty Buist (The Mary Erskine School)
Georgia Crooks (The High School of Glasgow)
Mhairi Crooks (The High School of Glasgow)
Yemisi Edgar (The High School of Glasgow)
Piper Kerr (Robert Gordon’s College)
Keren Lumsden (St Margaret’s School for Girls)
Charlotte Maconachie (George Heriot’s School)
Holly McIndoe (Fernhill School)
Sarah McLaren (George Heriot’s School)
Anne Murray (Lathallan School)
Francesca Ogilvie (Robert Gordon’s College)
Jessica Smith (The Mary Erskine School)
Hannah Stewart (Hutchesons’ Grammar School)