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Scotland 2013

The 2013 Scotland International fixture was played at Hampden Park on the evening of Mon 27th May. The game itself was a closely fought affair, with both teams scoring some excellent goals in an exciting 3-3 draw. The Away team were perhaps a bit unlucky not to have taken the honours, however a combination of missed chances and solid defensive play from the Home side's backline denied them the win.

Date: Monday 27th May
Venue: Hampden
Scotland Home vs Scotland Away
Kick off: 6:30pm
Legends: Danny McGrain, Pat Nevin and Colin Cameron
Match Officials: Haley Irvine, Alan Burnett, Elliot Husband and Tony Fullerton

The proud Scotland teams marched out the tunnel onto the hallowed Hampden turf to the stirring sound of the bagpipes and proceeded to belt out the "Flower of Scotland". After a tear or two was shed by the players it was the Away side that got the game underway at the iconic Home of Scottish football.

The pitch was in fantastic condition as ever, however an earlier downpour had left the surface soaked and that may have played a part in the slow start to the game, which contained little in the way of clear-cut chances in the first 10 min.

It was the Away side who were 1st to show their attacking prowess when a nice one-two played No 7 Michael Lee into the danger area. Lee proceeded to fire in a thunderous shot, but his effort was very well tipped over by Home Keeper Graeme Pitkethly.

The Home side hit back with No 10 Bobby Anderson's rasping 30-yard drive, however the Midfielder's effort was well held by Away Keeper Martin McLeod. After this effort, the Home side the balance of play switched back again and they were subjected to some serious pressure from the Away team. A shot from the left side by the Away Legend Colin Cameron was well cleared off the line by the head of Centre Half Alan Mentiply, then the resulting corner ended in a close-range shot from Away No 4 Jonathan Hamilton which was excellently stopped by the Home Keeper Pitkethly.

The game may have lacked goals in the first half an hour but it didn’t lack for drama towards the end of the half. The dangerous Michael Lee stormed down the right side, exchanged another one-two, before chipping Keeper Pitkethly, however much to his disappointment he saw the Home No 2 Christopher Wilson come running in to clear the ball away off the line.

Unfortunately for the Away side, after all their efforts to break the deadlock they were to concede the 1st goal after an error at the back. A long ball upfield was initially well intercepted by the out rushing Goalkeeper Martin McLeod, however the ball got stuck at his feet and he was pick-pocketed by the Home No 9 Paul McPherson and the Striker showed great composure to side-foot the ball into the empty net and put his Home team ahead (1-0)

With only mins left to play in the half, the Away side got something to show for their performance in the first half. A beautiful through ball played by No 10 Neil Murdoch into the run of his teammate David Dishon ended in the Centre Forward rounding the Keeper before dispatching the ball into the bottom corner to level things up with half time fast approaching (1-1). The free scoring No 9 was making an incredible 10th straight Football Aid appearance at Hampden and he would have been delighted to have marked his 10th cap with yet another goal for his Country.  

The game started to open up just as the half was coming to a close. Another defensive error at the back for the Away side allowed in No 9 Paul McPherson again but he was caught in two minds and was well tackled by the Away No 2 Alisdair Hamilton. McPherson was in again with seconds left after a clever through ball from No 10 Bobby Anderson found his well timed run, however his chipped shot came back off the right hand post and the chance was gone.

The Referee's whistle brought to a close an exciting half which both teams ended very brightly. After the game had taken while to get going, once the first goal went in the chances came thick and fast and only some outstanding defending had limited the sides to a goal apiece.

Half Time: Scotland Home 1-1 Scotland Away

After some rousing team-talks from playing Legends Pat Nevin and Colin Cameron and the hugely experienced Danny McGrain, the game got back underway and it didn’t take long for the Away side to start pressing their opponent's defence. A free kick for the Away side was given about 35 yards out from goal; Legend Colin Cameron chipped the ball into the box and Centre Forward Gary Thomas met it first time on the half volley, however his well struck effort hit the underside of the bar and bounced back off the post before Keeper Pitkethly punched it away to safety.

With 55 mins on the giant Hampden scoreboards another great opportunity presented itself for the Away side. A great ball low ball in from the right by No 7 Michael Lee was met by a great run from the substitute Craig Rodger. The No 17 met the ball at the near post and tried to flick it past Pitkethly but his effort just went wide of the far post.

Eventually, the Away side’s pressure did pay off. Big No 11 Gary Thomas showed his skills on the left hand side of the box with some keepy-ups to hold up the ball, before he laid it off his regular teammate Gary Jones. The No 6 proceeded to show his class, carrying the ball confidently into the box before jinking free from his defender and wrong footing the keeper with a side-foot finish into the bottom right corner (1-2).

However, after withstanding a concerted amount of pressure from the Away side the Home side came back strongly and managed to grab themselves an equalizer almost immediately after the restart. A well judged chipped through ball from the Home No 16 Paul Cassidy from inside his own half found the run of the Centre Forward Paul McPherson and the No 9 took it beautifully in his stride, chipping it first time with his left foot over the stranded McLeod and into the net (2-2).

With 75 mins gone the Home side's goal found itself under pressure again. No 10 Bobby Anderson tried to shepherd the ball back to his Keeper after a long ball the Keeper mistakenly picked the ball up even though Anderson had touched it and the Away team were awarded an indirect free kick on the right side of the box. However the free kick was blocked by a well organised defensive wall and went out for a corner.

However, much to the disappointment of the Home defence the resulting corner was to produce a goal for the Away side. A well worked corner found its way to Colin Cameron and the Legend played in No 6 Gary Jones. Jones approached goal before unleashing a powerful shot which was well saved by Keeper Graeme Pitkethly. The ball went flying up in the air and Craig Rodger was first to get there with his diving header sending the ball into the back of the net (2-3).

Again the Away side weren’t in front for long though, as the Home side hit back again soon after to grab another equaliser. With 82 mins on the clock No 10 Bobby Anderson was allowed to run at the Away defence and thread a through ball into the path of Centre Forward Paul McPherson, the No 9 waited for the ball to arrive before poking it past Keeper McLeod with the outside of his foot and into the net (3-3). It was a clinical finish from McPherson whose hat-trick dragged his side level again with time fast running out.

Not to be denied the Away side were still pushing to get that decisive winner though. A good ball in from the right by No 9 Dishon flashed across the box and was met by a sliding effort from his fellow Centre Forward Gary Thomas; however his shot was very well saved by Graeme Pitkethly, whose impressive keeping had kept his side in the game again. Another chance came when a low shot by No 16 Andrew Rodger was fired in from the edge of the box; however that was also held by Pitkethly.

Amazingly the drama wasn't quite over, the excellent No 7 Michael Lee went through on goal and his sliding shot past Pitkethly looked like it had given his side the win, however much to the delight of the on-looking man in the gloves it hit the post and rebounded away.

The Referee brought to an end an enthralling game of football soon after, with both sides having to settle for the draw. The talented Away side enjoyed the majority of possession and looked the side more likely to win, however they couldn’t quite turn their chances into goals. While a combination of strong defending, great goalkeeping and a never say die attitude helped the battling Home side to grab a well deserved draw. The watching Tartan Army fans had been lucky enough to have witnessed a nail biting encounter and the players were deservedly loudly applauded as they left the hallowed Hampden turf.

Full time: Scotland Home 3 - 3 Scotland Away

Man of the Match Home: Alan Mentiply
Man of the Match Away: Gary Jones
Moment of the Match: Paul McPherson

Home Team: Graeme Pitkethly, Christopher Wilson, Pat Nevin, Alan Mentiply, Alan Jope, Scott McCrory, Sean Ritchie, Gordon Esler (C), Paul McPherson, Bobby Anderson, Kenneth Cobb, David Cargill, Joe Stewart, Paul Cassidy, Rodney Hutchison
Manager: Danny McGrain
Mascot: Kayleigh Esler

Away Team: Martin McLeod, Alisdair Hamilton, Colin Cameron, Jonathan Hamilton, Jamie Florence (C), Gary Jones, Michael Lee, Michael Clarke, David Dishon, Neil Murdoch, Gary Thomas, Gary Jones, Jamie Florence, Andrew Rodger , Craig Rodger
Manager: Danny McGrain
Mascot: Kian Wheatley