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Scotland 2010

The sun was shining on the national stadium on a glorious Tuesday evening as 28 proud Scotland football fans arrived to live the ultimate dream of representing their Country. With a team of pipers playing as the players emerged from the tunnel, the hairs on the back of every player's neck were standing on end and the same could also be said of legends Danny McGrain, Scott Booth, Pat Nevin and Andy Walker! Charity match or full International, any chance to play at the Home of Football is always going to be an emotional occasion.

Tuesday 25th May 2010
Scotland Home vs Scotland Away
Kick Off: 18:30pm
Legends: Danny McGrain, Scott Booth, Pat Nevin and Andy Walker
Match Officials: Paul Salina, Sean Carr, David White and Alan Frame

The Away team, wearing white, got the game underway and they came close early on from a Paul McManus corner, but George Fiddes couldn't direct his header towards goal from close range. 

The first goal came for the Away team when Captain Frank Rooney played the ball wide to Robert Pool who drove in on goal but Craig Livingstone's late sliding challenge cause Pool to scuff his shot. The ball trickled across goal looking to be going wide of the post but from the right wing Paul McManus came sliding in to tuck the ball into the back of the net (0-1).

Brian Dunn was involved in the first clear cut chance for the Home team when Phil Jarman played a looping ball forward from within his own half over the defenders. Dunn latched on to this and controlled well but a poor second touch made it a race between himself and goalkeeper James Bell to the ball, a challenge which Bell came out on top, gathering the ball well at his feet.

Over the years there have been some controversial refereeing decisions at Hampden but what followed had to be right up there. The Away team could have potentially doubled their lead if seasoned Football Aid referee Paul Salina had judged Michael McCandlish's foul on Anton Gallagher to be a penalty. Gallagher skipped past McCandlish inside the area and the right-back left his leg in bringing down the No 8, but what looked like a stonewall penalty wasn't given!

Both teams were giving it a real go but most of the game was played in the middle of the park with each team lacking that little bit in the final third. There were a few half chances here and there but as the game approached half time there was nothing that really tested either goalkeeper.

Half Time: Scotland Home 0 - 1 Scotland Away

It was the Home team that got the second half underway and seemed completely fired up after their inspirational team talk from Manager Danny McGrain. The boys in Blue piled on the pressure and it wasn't long before they got the equalizer. A clearance from the Away team only found its way to Scott Booth at the edge of the box and the ex-Scotland sharpshooter controlled with his left before rocketing a shot with his right into the keeper's bottom corner (1-1). 

It was opening up now and within moments the Away team had gone ahead again. A fantastic slide from Robert Pool allowed McManus to continue down the left wing and close in on the keeper, with Steven Syme narrowing the angle, McManus faked a shot before opting to go round the keeper before chipping the ball into the net from a tight angle (1-2).

Five minutes later and the Home team had clawed one back yet again. Booth played the ball up-field to David Dishon whose first time flick found Donald Pearson in space, the substitute outpaced the Away defence to run in on goal, however Away No 7 McManus showed great energy in tracking back and looked like he was going to snuff out the chance, however Pearson coolly cut across him and carefully placed the ball past the stranded goalkeeper. An excellent solo effort by super sub Pearson! (2-2)

However heads didn't drop in the Away team despite relinquishing their lead for the second time. Instead this only spurred them on and shortly after the Whites would have had the lead for the third time if only the offside flag had stayed down.

It was however the Home team who went ahead for the first time in the match. The goal-scorer Pearson played the ball to fellow sub Scott Harrison in the centre of the park, Harrison took one touch before playing through to Dishon who added to his enviable scoring record at Hampden by closing in on goal and shooting right-footed under the advancing keeper James Bell (3-2).

With confidence soaring, the Home team were on top at this stage and goal-scorer Dishon pushed forward again keen to increase their narrow lead. Gliding down the left wing he swung in an inch-perfect cross for Scott Harrison in the box, Harrison met the ball first time on the volley, leaving goalkeeper James Bell with no chance (4-2).

With time running out the Away team showed their fighting spirit, and were creating chance after chance and before long they had pulled one back. George Fiddes played a clever pass to David Pool and he showed great skill to shrug off the last defender and push the ball past the goalkeeper with his left boot (4-3). The celebration was certainly enthusiastic; Pool ripping off his shirt and jumping head first towards the corner flag. Even the inevitable yellow card from the referee couldn't dampen his spirits!

With seconds to go the Away team completed their courageous comeback and again it was Fiddes who instigated the move. The Striker found himself in space on the right wing and delivered a great cross to David Pool whose downward header forced an excellent save from the diving keeper, however the Away team weren't to be denied and despite the despairing efforts of the Home defence to clear their lines the ball fell again to David Pool who made no mistake this time in burying the rebound for his 2nd goal of the game (4-4). 

However there was to be no time for a winner, with the Referee blowing for full time shortly afterwards. The noisy band of Tartan Army supporters had certainly got their money's worth, with the players deserving real credit for what had been a superbly entertaining match. Pat Nevin even described the match afterwards as one of the best he had ever played in!

Full-Time: Scotland Home 4 - 4 Scotland Away

Man of the Match Home: Donald Pearson
Man of the Match Away: Jonathan Heaney
Moment of the Match: Glen Yorke

Home Team: Steven Syme, Michael McCandlish, Scott Booth, Danny McGrain, Craig Livingstone, Michael Bowerman, Michael Clarke, John Blackhall, Jamie Florence, David Dishon, Phil Jarman, Scott Murdoch, Scott Harrison, Finlay Wylie, Brian Dunn, Donald Pearson.

Away Team: James Bell, Tony Melvin, Andy Walker, Pat  Nevin, Jonathan Heaney, Craig Lewis, Steven Kirkland, Paul McManus, Anton Gallacher, Frank Rooney, Robert Pool, George Fiddes, Glen Yorke, David Pool, Robert Thorburn, Richard Caplan

Mascot: Isaac Glen & Dennis Rooney