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Late goal not enough as Scots lose Victory Shield opener

Scotland 1

Aitchison 80

Northern Ireland 2

McKenna 37, White 70
  • Friday, 31 October 2014
  • St Mirren Park
  • Under 16´s
  • Sky Sports Victory Shield

David Brockett | YFS West Dunbartonshire Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Scotland Under-16s hopes of retaining the Victory Shield were dealt a blow with a 2-1 defeat at St Mirren Park on Friday evening.
 
Liam McKenna and Jack White gave the visitors a 2-0 lead, but Jack Aitchison’s late goal wasn’t enough to snatch a point. 
 
Having won the Victory Shield for the first time in fifteen years last time around, Scotland were looking to open their defence with a win but had to avoid a scare within the opening two minutes of the match. 
 
A ball in from Cormac Lawlor on the right found it’s way to Stephen Mallon, and only a fine stop from Scotland goalkeeper Aidan McAdams prevented Scotland from conceding in the early stages.
 
Scotland skipper Jack Adamson’s bursting run saw the Hibs striker run at the heart of the Northern Irish defence, beating three men in the process in what was Scotland’s most prominent attack of the first half.
 
Midway through the first half, Scotland had the opportunity to draw level. A corner from the right dropped at the feet of Owen Gallacher, but his stabbed shot was scrambled clear by the Northern Irish defence.
 
Two minutes later, Gallacher turned Lucas Galashan and lashed his shot into the side netting, with the majority of the 572 inside St Mirren Park thinking he had scored.
 
On the half hour mark, Rangers’ Liam Burt spotted Northern Ireland goalkeeper Conor Larkin off his line and tried his luck from range, but his audacious effort dropped narrowly wide of the post.
 
The visitors then did take the lead on thirty six minutes. Stephen Mallon curled a left footed free kick to the far post and Liam McKenna was on hand to fire a header past Aidan McAdams. 
 
Northern Ireland continued to press Scotland and went into half time with a deserving 1-0 lead.
  • Half Time:
  • Scotland
  • 0-1
  • Northern Ireland
Four minutes after the restart Burt had the chance to equalise. His free kick from twenty five yards went up and over the wall but Larkin gathered comfortably.
 
With his side trailing, Scotland boss Scot Gemmill’s first substitution saw Sheffield United’s Fraser Preston replace Daniel McAlilister. 

A few moments later, Gemmill made a double substation with Aberdeen’s Connor McLennan and Celtic’s Jack Aitchison replacing Owen Gallacher and Glenn Middleton 

On seventy minutes, Northern Ireland doubled their lead. Substitute Niall Cassidy burst down the wing and his cross found Linfield’s Jack White whose stooping header flew past McAdams.

Straight from the restart, Scotland had a chance to pull a goal back when Burt flashed an effort narrowly wide of Larkin’s post. 

Despite going further behind, Scotland began to build some momentum and won a free kick thirty five yards out. Dan Meredith’s free kick found Burt, but his looping header went agonisingly wide.
 
With Scotland now on the front foot, Aitchison found himself in acres of space and only the legs of Larkin prevented him what would’ve been a wonderful solo goal.

Scotland did manage to find a consolation in the second minute of injury time. A cross from the left resulted in a stramash, and the ball fell to Aitchison who stabbed the ball home from a yard to halve the deficit. 

Next up for Scot Gemmill’s side is the visit of Wales, who beat England this evening, to McDiarmid Park next Friday, 7th November. 
  • Full Time:
  • Scotland
  • 1-2
  • Northern Ireland

Lineups

Scotland
Northern Ireland

1. Aidan McAdams
2. Aidan Wilson
3. Dan Meredith
4. Daniel Baur
5. Tony Gallacher
6. Daniel McAllister
7. Owen Gallagher
8. Liam Burt
9. Jack Adamson
10. Kee Connelly
11. Glenn Middleton
12. Cameron Yates
14. Lewis Bell
15. Jack Aitchison
16. Kristi Marku
17.Fraser Preston
18. Kieran Freeman

1. Conor Larkin
2. Cormac Lawlor
4. Jack White
5. Lucas Galashan
6. Liam McKenna
7. Christopher Crane
9. Matthew Lynch
11. Stephen Mallon
13. Tre Sterling
15. Jack Sharvin
17. David Parkhouse
12. Matthew Davidson
3. Conal Fagan
8. Christopher Gallagher
10. Dylan Davidson
14. Niall Cassidy
16. Alex Coarolan
18. Reece McGinley

Star Player
Scotland
Northern Ireland
Liam Burt was probably Scotland's best player on a disappointing night for the reigning champions. Unlucky not to find the net with a long range shot after spotting the goalkeeper off his line. Daniel Baur was composed on the ball all night too.
Stephen Mallon caused the Scotland defence problems all night long and set up the second goal.
Magic Moment
Scotland
Northern Ireland
Outwith Scotland's late consolation, captain Jack Adamson's bursting run that saw him evade three players was a moment of magic from the Hibs youngster.
Northern Ireland's goal was a great counter attack and Cassidy's run and cross was magnificent, with White's header equally as exquisite.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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