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Scotland Game 2 2004

Even after the morning games, the pitch was still in fantastic condition when the two teams in Game 2 proudly marched out of the tunnel and lined up for the national anthem to be played for the second time that day. When the game kicked off at 2:30 PM the Home team were Captained and Managed by one of Football Aid’s finest ambassadors, Danny McGrain. With the Away team Managed and Captained by ex-Scotland legends Gordon McQueen and Tosh McKinlay.

Again nerves were in evidence and the game started off edgily with both teams’ defences on top. Unfortunately the first incident of note that occurred was an early injury to the Away team’s no 8 Barry Maclure who ended up missing most of the game after suffering a muscle injury. Then even greater misfortune struck the Away team when the no 10 Ian Stewart had his big day cut short by a Hamstring injury. Both players received loud and deserved rounds of applause as they were helped off the pitch after receiving treatment from Hampden’s official physio Jim Fallon.

The Home team were first to really test the opposition Goalkeeper with the Home team’s No 1 Murray Husband pulling off some good saves. However, despite their bad luck with injuries the Away team were to take the lead on 25 mins. After good build up play no 7 David Dishon broke into the Home box and smashed a left foot shot high past the keeper to make it 1-0 before embarking on a bare-chested celebration. The Away team were on a high now and with their defence being ably organised by Tosh McKinlay they were to increase their lead shortly afterwards. Their 2nd goal came after a cleverly worked short corner was taken and the ball was centred for no 15 Joseph Birney to power his header past the Home keeper and make it 2-0.

At half-time as part of their national TV coverage, Sky Sports News interviewed the Away team’s David Dishon, scorer of the first goal and he conducted himself as well in front of the cameras as he did on the pitch itself. Let’s hope the fame doesn’t go to his head!

The second half began with the Scottish sunshine making a welcome appearance. The Home team were strengthened with their full allocation of substitutes while due to injuries the Away team had to call for a substitution from the Football Aid staff, to bolster their depleted frontline! The Home team were taking advantage of their fresh legs, with their no 14 Neil Heron in particular causing the Away team’s defence problems. It was taking some good goalkeeping from Jason Hoare in the Away team goal and some tight offside decisions to keep them at bay, but eventually the pressure told and the Home team got a deserved goal back. The goal came when Mark McCreery the Home no 15 calmly placed the ball past the advancing Goalkeeper to give his supporters something to cheer about in the stands.

At this stage with both teams giving it their all, it was up to SPL referee John Rowbotham to use all his experience to keep the game flowing. The Home team were pushing hard for the equaliser, with the Away team tiring and having to be content with launching attacks on the break. After creating a number of chances it was the Home team who eventually took their opportunity, with the no 9 Gordon Scott grabbing the equaliser. Put through on goal in the 81st min, Scott showed great composure to place his finish with the outside of his foot beyond the Goalkeeper and make it 2-2. With only 5 minutes to go the Away team raced up the field to look for a winner, however the Home Goalkeeper had to thank referee Rowbotham for being a bit lenient and allowing him to remain on the pitch as his despairing last man tackle prevented the Away attacker from going on to score a late winner. This was to be the final action and the game ended at 2-2, with neither team deserving to go home losers from what had been an exciting game for their spectators.

After the match a post-match presentation was again held and the spectators had a chance to give all involved some much deserved applause. An extra round of applause was given to the man of the match award winners who each received signed match balls. These awards went to the Home team’s no 9 Gordon Scott who never stopped trying to get his side’s equaliser and the Away team’s no 15 Joseph Birney who capped a fine probing display up front with his headed first half goal.

Scotland Home 2 – 2 Scotland Away