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Scotland Game 1 2008

On a bright crisp Saturday morning in Glasgow, twenty-eight men stepped out on to the hallowed turf of the national stadium to the sound of the Hampden roar. They graced the pitch where so many of their hero’s had worn the dark blue of Scotland before. After a patriotically sung rendition of the flower of Scotland, the men were eager to live their dream.

Saturday 31st of May 2008
Scotland Home vs Scotland Away
Hampden Park
KO: 10:00am
Referee: Kenny Rogers
Legends: Pat Nevin, Paul Lambert and Alan McLaren

The players burst into life after the first whistle. And it wasn’t long before the away team took control with defender Richard Hunter bursting clear of home right back Stewart Shaw before calmly sliding the ball under the onrushing goalkeeper. Although marshalled by their legend Paul Lambert, the home team was showing plenty of enthusiasm. Their offside trap was again sprung onto their opponents with only 4 minutes played when Away striker Sandy Munro found himself clear and in a mirror image of the first goal, slipped the ball under the exposed home keeper to make it 2-0 to the Away team.

The Away team continued to make the running and it was no surprise when having eluded the offside trap, striker David Dishon coolly rounded the keeper to side foot the ball into the net. But this heralded a mini revival of sorts for the home side. At first they started to show much more solidity under the tutelage of Paul Lambert with William Wilkinson showing a cool head in defence. They then had their first effort on goal from a long range effort from Andrew McGuinniety

However this passage was short lived and a hat-trick of goals from the Away side was quick in succession. Firstly, again finding himself clean through, Dishon rounded the keeper and then in a cheeky move knelt down to head the ball from the ground over the line. Another one on one occurred with 21 minutes on the clock, this time with striker Sandy Munro getting his name on the score sheet for the second time. Sandwiched between these goals was a moment of real quality with the away midfielder Douglas Moore scoring a curling free kick. This made the score a whopping 6-0 to the away side half way through the first half.

There was a glint of light for the home team on 22 minutes when after a surging overlapping run from home right back Euan Elphinstone, the ball made its way into the net courtesy of a huge deflection. This was followed by another exciting passage of play for the home team with Goalkeeper David Morrison coming out of his goal and saving expertly with his feet. The wind was taken out of the sails of the comeback however on 29 minutes with midfielder Phil Jarman scoring for the Away team, with a clever shot with the outside of his right foot from edge of the area.

The home team were unperturbed and struck back on 30 minutes with Andy Shaw cutting in from left midfield and slotting in a left footed shot to make it 2-7. This heralded a shower of shots from the home team and it was actually quite against the run of play when the Away team struck with a double blow before half time, Sandy Munro completing his hat-trick with a breakaway goal followed by a right footed chip from the edge of the area .

Half Time: Scotland Home 2 – 9 Scotland Away

There would have been contrasting atmospheres in the respective dressing rooms at half time, though no doubt the home team were buoyed by Pat Nevin’s arrival as their manager. This obviously had a knock on effect at the start of the second half with in particular Andrew McGuinniety looking bright. Also the addition of playing legend Alan McClaren to the defence was unsurprisingly successful. They even created the first clear chance of the half withDavid Hutchison heading wide after a spell of good pressure..

This pressure culminated in the home side scoring the first goal of the second half on 65 minutes. And it was no ordinary goal, with Craig Meikle curling home an impressive shot from the left. Thus was no more than the home team deserved after a spirited comeback from their first half miseries. Most notable was their new found defensive security.

However, stung into life by their change in fortunes the Away team struck back on 82 minutes to extend their lead to 10 -3. This time it was Phil Jarman to complete his brace heading home from a pinpoint cross from the right. A deceptively one sided score was completed in 89 minutes when David Dishon slotted a penalty for his hat-trick. So while it ended 11-3 to the away side it was very much a game of two halves and more importantly a thoroughly enjoyable morning at the home of Scottish football. Football Aid Ball

Full-Time Scotland Home 3 Scotland Away 11

Man of the Match (Home) – Andrew McGuinniety

Man of the Match (Away) – Dave Buglass

Moment of the match – Ronnie Smollett

Home Team: Morrison, Elphinstone, Lambert, Wilkinson, Velez, Sutherland, McCulloch, Shaw, McTell, Ingram, Hutchison Subs Meikle, McGuinniety

Mascots: Jamie Shaw, Moya McGuinniety-Morrison

Away Team: Smollett, Shaw, McLaren, Buglass, Moore, Gillespie, Jarman, Shaw, Dishon, MacKinnon, Munro Subs: Hendry, Hunter, Rice, Bell

Mascots: Ben Buglass and Jonathan Shaw.