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Six goal Scots off to flyer against Montenegro

Scotland 6

Aitchison 10, 53, Rudden 17 McInroy 28, Middleton 57, 73

Montenegro 1

Rakonjac 49
  • Friday, 17 March 2017
  • St Mirren Park, Paisley
  • Under 17´s
  • UEFA Elite Round Group 4

Mark Gillespie | YFS North Ayrshire Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author [email protected]

Scotland made an ideal start to this year’s UEFA Elite group, as they saw off Montenegro in swashbuckling style at St Mirren Park. How refreshing it was to see a Scotland side playing attractive passing football, and scoring some sensational goals into the bargain.
Scott Gemmill’s side had defeated reigning under-17 champions Portugal in September to qualify for the elite round and be seeded to host Montenegro, Switzerland and Serbia. Based on recent form the young Scots are ranked 6th in Europe at this level, and in Paisley they lived up to their billing in emphatic style.
Ahead of the matches, head coach Scot Gemmill had stressed the importance of the forthcoming games and said: “This is definitely the most important week of the season for the players as they have worked very hard to get themselves into this position.
“A lot of countries don’t manage to get to this stage and it’s important the players realise how important it is.
“Playing at home will be a boost for us. The last time we played an Elite Round in Scotland we qualified so it’s worked in the past.
“This is a great group of players who are playing at a high level at their clubs and they’ve shown they can compete against the best on an international stage so it’s up to us to keep up those high levels of performance.”
After surviving an early scare when their opponents struck the bar, the Scots were 3 up and cruising by half time, their first goal a thunderbolt from Jack Aitchison from the edge of the D on 10 minutes. They never really looked back, with the Celtic striker helping himself to another goal, and Glenn Middleton chipping in with his own second half brace. The two had given the Montenegro defence a torrid night of it, with no answer to their deadly pace and finishing in the final third.
Montenegro were not coping with the threat from early in the first half and it set the platform for wave after wave of Scots attacks. The second goal arrived on 17 minutes as Church got down the left to pick out Zak Rudden in the box to head home from close range.
But there wasn’t much visiting defenders could do about goal number three. After some intricate build up play Seb Ross laid the ball off for Kerr McInroy on the edge of the box and his left foot drive found Vukic’s corner with just half an hour played.
  • Half Time:
  • Scotland
  • 3-0
  • Montenegro
Montenegro got half time to regroup and make some changes, and looked briefly more purposeful after the break, managing to claw one back four minutes in. Krstovic’s deep cross was only just tipped to safety by Donaldson before the ball found its way to half time sub Rakonjac, who despatched low past the keeper to give his side the faintest of hopes.
It wouldn’t last though, as Scotland took the game by the scruff of the neck, continuing where they had left off in the opening period. Aitchison grabbed his second of the game on 53 minutes, another lethal finish from the edge of the box, his final act of the game as he was replaced by Innes Cameron a minute later to a standing ovation.
The sub duly laid on a fifth Scots goal for Middleton from the edge of the box, rocketed high past Vukic on 57 minutes. Middleton was in the mood for more, with a free kick just tipped away shortly after, but the Norwich City man wasn’t to be denied, and got down the left of the box to score from a tight angle on 73 minutes and complete the scoring.
Altogether it capped a very impressive performance, with Scotland looking very comfortable on the ball and dangerous in attack throughout. Feet firmly on the ground of course, but Scott Gemmill will be looking to carry some of the feel good factor forward into the match with Serbia on Sunday.
  • Full Time:
  • Scotland
  • 6-1
  • Montenegro


1 Josh Donaldson
4 Stephen Welsh
3 Daniel Church
5 Robbie Deas
17 Jordan Houston
6 Johnny Mitchell
16 Kerr McInroy
13 Seb Ross
7 Jack Aitchison
9 Zak Rudden
11 Glenn Middleton
2 Lewis Mayo
18 Aaron Reid
14 Innes Cameron
12 Jon McCracken
15 Lewis Smith
14 Innes Cameron
1 Vujovic
3 Roganovic
4 Krstovic
5 Milic
6 Babic
8 Brnovic
9 Grubac
10 Stanisic
16 Dresaj
17 Pesukic
18 Krstovic
2 Drincic
7 Stojkovic
12 Popovic
13 Petrovic
14 Pavlicevic
Star Player
Glenn Middleton was an ever present danger all night, scoring two goals.
Krstovic kept working for his team, trying to get them up the pitch.
Magic Moment
Aitchison's opener was an exquisite finish from the edge of the box
Rakonjac provided some brief hopes for a Montenegro fightback just after half time.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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