Scotland welcomed Wales to new Douglas Park on a cold Thursday night to contest their second fixture in this year’s Centenary Shield followed a draw against Northern Ireland in the opening match where a late and fortuitous Jai Quitongo strike saw them salvage a point.
Historically the home side have been much more successful in this competition and were looking to become champions for the first time since 2011 whereas tonight’s guests had not laid a hand on the silverware since the early 1970’s.
A healthy crowd swelled the main stand as we got underway just after seven o’clock and soon had reason to be optimistic as a speculative effort from right back Kieran Campbell hit the target from distance but Keighan Jones positioned himself well and remained untroubled.
The same could not be said moments later when a scything through ball from defence was launched forward by Campbell and Jones raced out to deal with the danger only to completely miss his kick and leave Chris Liversedge with the easiest of chances which he controlled and stroked home to give his side the lead after seven minutes.
It would be a case of Déjà vu moments later when Scott Burns gathered a stray Welsh pass in the middle of his opponents half and lifted the ball through defence where what appeared to be a routine take for the ‘keeper seemed to pass through his gloves and Liversedge was on hand to cut the ball between the posts from a narrow angle to make it 2-0 inside a quarter of an hour.
The only consolation for the visitors in the first half would come when livewire forward Tre Morrett turned Scotland defender inside out following a long ball before connecting well with a half volley but his shot failed to bother captain Chris Truesdale as it flew past his left hand post.
It looked as if the dark blues would head into the half time break with an unassailable advantage when Welsh defender Daniel Roberts lost the flight of the ball and then saw it bounce off his right hand leaving the referee Alan Muir no alternative but to point to the spot and give Liversedge the chance to complete his hat trick but Jones was at last able to show the quality that made him his nation’s number one as he flew to his right to keep the effort from 12 yards out and keep the deficit to two as the teams departed for the interval.