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Scotland 2011

It was a sunny Tuesday evening at Hampden Park, the proud national stadium of the Tartan Army. The players started to arrive and live every boys dream to represent their country, pulling on the famous Blue and White strips. The pipers were playing ‘Flower of Scotland' as the players walked down the long tunnel and lined up on the hallowed national turf. Legends Danny McGrain, Scott Booth and Pat Nevin were all on hand to settle any last minute nerves before Football Aid's International Charity Match sponsored by BT Scotland.

Tuesday 31st May 2011
Scotland Home vs Scotland Away
Kick Off: 18:30pm
Legends: Danny McGrain, Scott Booth, Pat Nevin
Match Officials: Alan Frame, Frank Queen, Steven Queen and James Tedford

The Home team, wearing the traditional blue, white and red, got the game underway at the famous Home of Football. The Blue's took advantage of the fantastic surface, passing the ball round nicely, creating the first chance but it was nothing too troubling for the Away goalkeeper. It was a quick start to the match and it was the Scotland Away Captain Ross Paterson that had the first real opportunity, but it was well saved by goalkeeper Quinn. Two early chances for both sides!

Both teams seemed to instantly gel together well, showing real composure and good build up from the back, but neither could break into the box. That was until the Scotland Away No 10 Craig Lewis, wearing yellow and blue, took his first touch nicely into the box. His rival marker and fellow No 10 Mackinnon brought him down from behind for a clear penalty. Lewis stepped up, side footing the ball into the top right hand corner and opening the scoring. An excellent penalty to open the scoring! (0-1)

A short corner followed from the Yellows and it caused more problems for the Home defence. The ball was delivered in and not dealt with properly by either side which resulted in a goalmouth scramble. It somehow fell kindly to striker Brian Dunn, who fired a first time volley across goal, through the goalkeeper's hands and into the back of the net. (0-2)

5 mins later the Blue's No 9 David Dishon tried to add to his impressive goals tally from previous years and his curling shot was heading towards the far corner but in the end it didn't trouble Quinn. The goalkeeper showed safe hands and inspired confidence for the defensive line in front of him. Long-time Football Aid supporter Pat Nevin was trying to drive his team forward from left back but, unfortunately, a pulled hamstring led to him having to sit out for the rest of the game.

The Away team's defensive pairing of Colin Ritchie and Iain Wyper was looking rock solid at the back and the duo made some crucial tackles throughout the half, keeping their team in the lead. This gave the midfield more options going forward and the evergreen No 7 Alan Kelly was at the end of a promising attack, rising well and winning a header that drifted towards the top corner but the goalkeeper just tipped it over the bar.

The Away Captain Ross Paterson was setting a good example by linking up well with his teammates down the left flank, constantly putting the Blue's defence on the back foot. From his own half he drove all the way into the penalty box before shooting, his shot hit the far post and rebounded back to Paterson, who made no mistake with a diving header. The Captain was delighted to get on the score sheet! (0-3)

A superb ball through from the Home No 10 Mackinnon split the Away defence, sending Martyn MacCabe through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat. However his effort was straight at the well positioned Smollet and the No 17 would have been a little disappointed he wasn't able to pull one back for his side.

Both teams had enjoyed good spells throughout the half, but going into the interval three goals down the Scotland Home side would have been desperate to come out fighting and open their scoring in the second half.

Half Time: Scotland Home 0 - 3 Scotland Away

Pat Nevin used the half time interval to sit his side down and give them some tactical advice to get back into this game. Whereas Manager Danny McGrain had a massive smile on his face and his side came out vibrantly as they walked down the tunnel. You could tell Pat desperately wanted the Blue's to level this game with his team talk continuing out of the dressing room and onto the pitch.

Danny's side got the second half started and instantly took control of the match. An early corner was headed across goal by big centre half Ritchie but the goalkeeper managed to palm the ball away and it was cleared by his defence.

The Home defence had to concentrate as the Yellow side was moving the ball around quickly. A dangerous cross to the back post from Dunn was missed by the keeper but No 15 Clarke headed off the line. The four defenders did well to weather the early storm!

It took the Scotland Home side the best part of 20 mins to settle down and once they did it allowed them to create a few opportunities. However No 9 Dishon couldn't find the target, with his long range attempt flying over the bar.

The Away No 11 Dunn was becoming tricky and had another attempt punched away by Quinn. Then the Home side's Bonnyman and MacCabe played a defence splitting 1-2, putting the No 11 in plenty of space at the edge. He tried to curl the ball into the far top corner but was inches wide of what could have been a spectacular goal. MacCabe on the 32 min mark made a sublime run through on goal, his shot beat the keeper but wide of the post. That was the Home side's real chance!

Substitute Robert Anderson had a marvelous opportunity shortly afterwards, finding some room in the box but his curling half volley stung the goalkeeper's gloves. A half chance well stopped by the Away no.1.

Martyn MacCabe eventually broke the 2nd half deadlock, opening the second half scoring and the first for the Home tartan army boys. He had caused real trouble for the defence with his runs across the box all evening. This time he did well to take his touch round the goalkeeper and past the defender who was tracking back. The No 17 doing well to slot the ball in and reduce the deficit between the teams! (1-3)

However that was to be the end to the scoring on the night and the proud Internationalists ended the game with smiles on their faces and hand shakes for all. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable match to be involved in for all concerned!

Full-Time: Scotland Home 1 - 3 Scotland Away

Man of the Match Home: Dave Buglass
Man of the Match Away:
Alan Kelly
Moment of the Match:
Ross Paterson

Home Team: Quinn, Kirk, Pat Nevin, Livingstone, Buglass, Gillies, Rooney, Boyle, Dishon, Mackinnon, Bonnyman, Anderson, Clarke, Campbell, MacCabe. Manager: Pat Nevin

Mascot: Ibrahim Anderson.

Away Team: Smollet, McAulay, Scott Booth, Ritchie, Wyper, Denholm, Kelly, Paterson, Fowler, Lewis, Dunn, Jurgenson, Yorke, Cobb. Manager: Danny McGrain

Mascot: Corey Denholm.