CYP Scotland and BGC Wales’ under 15s kicked off an international triple-header at Station Park on Sunday, 3rd May. In atrocious weather conditions the spectacle of the first game more than lifted the mood of everyone in Forfar Athletic’s ground. The first half was controlled by the Welsh with a Jordan Downs double ensuring they went in at half time 2-0 to the good. Scotland rallied in the second half and managed to level thanks to strikes from Arran Laird and Cameron Fraser. With the tie in the balance it was Wales who gained the victory as Jake Dymond found the back of the net four minutes from time.
The Welsh were pumped up from the very start and they controlled the opening moments of the game. They very nearly had the perfect start albeit with a little help from the elements. With their first attacking move Arwel Thomas pinged a long ball over the Scottish defence aimed towards Jordan Downs. The merciless wind, however, then caught hold of the ball, leaving Downs unable to retrieve, but it also bamboozled Scottish goalkeeper Jack Gray. With the flight trajectory majorly altered, the ball bounced over the stranded keeper towards goal. Thankfully for all those connected with the Scots it bounced just the wrong side of the post.
With the momentum firmly in the hands of the Welsh they seemed to be edging closer to a goal. In the 11th minute, Evan Daley came close when the ball fell to him following a corner kick but his effort flew just inches above the crossbar.
Five minutes later, however, the Welsh were celebrating taking the lead in fine style. Downs picked up the ball about 20 yards from goal and then displayed an exquisite bit of skill. One-on-one with his defender he suddenly dropped his shoulder, made some space for himself, and bulleted a low, venomous shot straight into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
After this setback Scotland responded with a chance of their own. Liam Fraser met a right-wing cross in the penalty box but his effort at goal was blocked. Arran Laird was the first to meet the rebound but the Welsh defence also blocked his effort. The ball then bounced out for a corner that ultimately came to nothing.
In the 20th minute Scotland came close again when a through ball was played to Andrew Fleming. With the angle against him the number 12 could only shoot into the side netting.
The balance of play then swung back in favour of Wales who came close through efforts from Arwel Thomas, Dylan Davies and Rhys Mills. Their next clear-cut opportunity arose with the game ticking into its 38th minute. Luke Evans delivered a long free kick straight into Scotland’s penalty area and it fell to the feet of Mills. He got his shot away at goal from close range but was denied by an outstanding diving save from Jack Gray.
Despite Gray’s goalkeeping heroics there was absolutely nothing he could do about the next shot he faced on the stroke of half time. Downs picked up the ball about 25-30 yards out of goal and unleashed an absolute screamer of a shot straight into the postage stamp of the goal. It was a truly stunning goal that no goalie anywhere would be keeping out. Shortly afterwards the half time whistle went and everyone at Station Park was left thinking about that incredible last bit of play.