Victory Shield Scotland 2 Northern Ireland 2

Scotland 2 Northern Ireland 2

Scotland took on Northern Ireland tonight in their second Victory Shield match at Dens Park, Dundee. Four Rangers players started for Scotland, while Nicky Main was an unused substitute.

It was a slow start to the game and the first real opening came in the 16th minute for Northern Ireland. A cross from the right by Cormac Burke found Josh Carson coming in at the back post and his header was blocked by Adam Hunter. Three minutes later and a last gasp clearance by Carl Winchester prevented Scotland from taking the lead, Jamie Walker round the keeper Glendinning but Winchester cleared just as he was about to knock it into the net.

Kyle McAusland should have given Scotland the lead on 21 minutes, good play by David Smith on the left, his low cross across the six yard box should been converted but McAusland shot wide. At the other end a Burke shot was not far over, but keeper Shaun Thomson seemed to have in covered.

Scotland thought they had taken the lead on 29 minutes, a long pass from Dylan McGeough saw Walker lob the on rushing keeper. Luke McCullough got back to clear, with Scotland claiming it had crossed the line, but the assistant referee ruled otherwise.

The last chance of the first half came in 34 minutes, McAusland went down the right and played it low across goal, Smith came sliding in but knocked the ball wide.

Half Time : Scotland 0 Northern Ireland 0

Only a great save from Ross Glendinning prevented Scotland taking the lead in 34 mins, Substitute Calum McGregor’s free kick from the left was met by the head of McAusland, but the keeper made a fine save low to his left. Fifeteen minutes later and Northern Ireland came inches from scoring, a corner from the left was headed against the bar by McCullough.

As often happens the other team goes straight up the other end and scores. A McGeough corner from the left had Glendinning struggling and could only help it on towards the back post where Jamie Walker volleyed home from close range. A free kick from the left almost brought Northern Ireland their equaliser a minute later, but it was cleared for a corner by McAusland.

Set plays were causing problems at both ends, and McGeough’s next corner from the left was bundled towards goal by Kerr, only to come back off the post and the Nothern Ireland defence cleared . A set play was to prove the source of the game’s next goal, a corner from the left was header clear by Kerr, but landed at the feet of Josh Carson and he fired a great left foot shot high past the keeper to tie the game at 1-1.

On 73 minutes Michael Noble had to look sharp to clear over his one crossbar under pressure from John Edgar after a flick on by Kyle Curran. Captain Fraser Fyvie who was Scotland’s match winner against Wales almost did it again on 74 minutes but his shot came back off the post.

Chances were now coming thick and fast, a forward pass from Noble, saw Substitute Liam Gormley turn his marker and fire in a low left foot shot which produced a fine save from Glendinning. The goal was only delayed by a minute, A long deep cross from the right by Jack Grimmer, found substitute Calum McGregor coming in at the back post to volley home.

Northern Ireland were not to be denied and grabbed a second equaliser a minute later, good work on the left by Kyle Curran and his cross was headed under keeper Thomson by substitute John Edgar. Scotland had one final chance in injury time, when a Grimmer free kick was headed over by Gormley.

Scotland: Shaun Thomson (Hearts); Adam Hunter (Rangers), John Young (Celtic), Michael Noble (Rangers); Dylan McGeough (Rangers), Fraser Fyvie (Aberdeen), Graeme McGregor (Falkirk); Jamie Walker (Hearts), Kyle McAusland (Rangers), David Smith (Hearts).

Subs: Chris Ketterer (St. Mirren) for Young, Calum McGregor (Celtic) for Smith, Jack Grimmer (Aberdeen) for Hunter, Euan Lindsay (Hamilton Accies) for Walker, Liam Gormley (Motherwell) for McAusland.

Northern Ireland: Ross Glendinning (Greenisland); Carl Winchester (Linfield), Ben Oliver (Linfield), Luke McCullough ( Loughgall), Rory McKeown (Lisburn Youth); Matthew Ball (Norwich City), Jack Warburton (Watford), James Knowles (Lisburn Youth); Cormac Burke (Trojans), Michael McLellan (Linfield), Josh Carson (Greenisland).

Subs: Kyle Curran (Don Boscos) for McLellan, Paul George (Celtic) for Ball, John Edgar (Ballinamallard) for Winchester, Lee Toland (Don Boscos) for McKeown.

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