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Scotland 2009

An extremely proud group of Scotland supporters lined up at the Home of Football on what was a remarkably balmy summer's evening. Taking to the pitch alongside the fans was a selection of true Scotland Legends; Football Aid Board Member Pat Nevin and fellow Scotland Internationals Paul Lambert and Scott Booth.

Monday 1st June 2009
Scotland Home v Scotland Away
KO: 18:30 PM
Legends: Paul Lambert, Pat Nevin & Scott Booth
Match Officials: Sean Carr, Gerry Durning, Nick Walsh & Kevin Durning

The Away team kicked off and quickly performed a re-shuffle that led to Scott Booth pushing up into his favoured forward position, and they were first to threaten with a shot from outside the area from Paul Spencer, however it flew high over and didn't trouble Gordon Fenton in the Home goal.

The Home team responded and Home 11 Ross Donald beat the offside trap on the left to run in on goal but Away keeper Ronnie Smollett did well to block the low shot with his legs.

However it was to be the Home team who were to take the lead after just 5 mins, Captain Mark Ewen won the ball in midfield, played in legend Scott Booth on the right and his pinpoint cross picked out Paul Spencer in the box who scored expertly with an acrobatic diving header (1-0).

Chances quickly followed at both ends, however seasoned Football Aid keepers Smollet and Fenton were both showing they were equal to the task.

The Away team threatened next and should have gone further ahead but Phil Spencer seemed to be caught in two minds and his cross-shot just eluded Booth's despairing lunge. But they weren't to be denied for long, the excellent Mark Ewen again instigated the attack, and after smart interplay between the two Spencers he finished off the move with a well placed shot low into the bottom left corner doubling the Away team's lead (0-2).

The Home team hit back with an attack of their own, George Fiddes found Anton Gallagher in space with a great through ball, but in trying to round the keeper Gallagher overran the ball slightly and it drifted out of play beyond the grateful Keeper.

Both teams continued to create chances, with Legends Nevin and Booth in particular pulling the strings and the Away team's next real chance was created and almost finished by the ex-Aberdeen ace. Booth dispossessed the Home defence and played in Phil Spencer but Fenton was quick off his line to block with his legs, Spencer picked the ball up again and fed Booth but his hooked cross-shot was expertly held by Fenton, much to the relief of the Home defence.  

Minutes later Fenton came to the rescue of the Home team again, this time it was Paul Spencer who was denied by a smart stop. However Smollet was keen to show his worth in the opposite goal and he did so with a succession of saves. First up Ross Donald showed his pace to latch on to an excellent through ball from Douglas Fisher but he was unfortunate not to narrow the gap when his low effort was parried away. Minutes later Donald was again played through, this time by Nevin, but his attempted chip didn't gain the height required to beat the keeper. Then Donald unselfishly played in Gallagher but again Smollet showed his worth, closing him down quickly and smothering his close range shot. 

By now Nevin was struggling with a muscle injury, and the extreme heat was understandably starting to affect the pace of the game, but substitute Omar Younis was doing well to help shore up the Home defence. It was to be the Home team that were to threaten next, Gallagher did well to play in David Dishon, but the veteran of six Hampden matches was denied by the impressive Smollet.

But despite their chances it was to be the Away team who were to increase their lead shortly before half-time. Jim Rae's quickly taken free kick looked like it was going to be dealt with by the Home defence but Mark Ewen pounced on the back-pass and angled his shot just inside the far post to double his goal tally and make it (0-3).

Half Time: Scotland Home 0 - 3 Scotland Away

The 2nd half kicked off with the Home team bolstered by the inclusion of Paul Lambert, the former Scotland Captain hoping to drag his downbeat Home team back into the match.

After a low key start to the half the Away team were first to threaten, the ball was played into a dangerous area by Dougie Moore in the box but Craig Livingstone's excellent saving tackle nullified the danger.

The Away team continued to look solid in defence with Moore, Buglass and Rae keeping well organised and holding a high line and they almost increased their lead on 60 mins. Ewen drove into the box, beat one defender then cut back well, the ball eventually fell to Booth who was denied brilliantly by Fenton when he looked certain to score.

The Home team were still pushing forward and creating chances, first Michael Clarke's powerful header was saved well, then George Fiddes' well struck shot was deflected over then Dishon was denied by an excellent challenge by Hugh McKenna when he looked odds on to score from inside the box.

However perhaps slightly against the run of play the Away team were to increase their lead further, dogged defensive efforts from Livingstone and Fenton denied the Away team twice before Dougie Moore popped up at the back post to smash home a left foot volley low past the despairing dive of Fenton (0-4).

Back came the Home team, with Dishon's attempt at a curler to the far post comfortably saved, then the tireless David Reynolds was unlucky not to get a shot in when he worked himself into space after a smart one two. Clarke again came close to scoring with his head from the resulting corner.

Fenton capped an excellent performance seconds before full time, Phil Spencer earned a penalty on the edge of the area after a lung bursting run from his own half, but Fenton guessed correctly and dived to his left to parry away the penalty kick.

That was to be the last piece of action in what had been an enthralling match for all those lucky enough to witness it. The Away team were deserved winners, but the Home team can think themselves desperately unlucky not to have at least grabbed a goal to show for their efforts.

Full Time: Scotland Home 0 - 4 Scotland Away

Man of the Match Home: Douglas Fisher
Man of the Match Away: Mark Ewen
Moment of the Match: Gordon Fenton 

Home Team: G. Fenton, G. Fiddes , P. Lambert, P. Nevin, D. Fisher, F. Rooney, D. Reynolds, A. Gallagher, D. Dishon, T. Vaughan, R. Donald, O. Younis, C. Livingstone, S. Harvey, M. Clarke Mascot: Niamh Vaughan

Away Team: R. Smollet, Steven Adam, S. Booth, J. Rae, A. Adams, S. Cunningham, D. Buglass, P. Spencer, P. Spencer, M. Ewen, D. Moore, G. Beacham, R. McAlpine, H. McKenna, M. MacKay Mascot: Joe Mackay