Lewis Wilson of Kilsyth Academy helped the TSB Under 18 Scotland Schoolboys secure a late 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland in their opening Centenary Shield match at East Fife’s Bayview.
The early stages of this match were played out in the centre of the park, with both teams looking to gain control of the midfield and the game exploded into life after 15 minutes when Scotland’s Lewis Wilson went on a mazy run down the left-hand-side before standing the ball up to the back post, Scott Hynd rose to nod the ball goal-ward only to see his header saved by the Northern Irish keeper.
Six minutes later Scotland were again on the attack, this time through an impressive long throw by Kyle Chalmers which was met with a bullet header by Scott Burns which flew wide of the post.
Northern Ireland offered a threat of their own with five minutes of the first half remaining, a low cross was fizzed in from the right which was brilliantly dealt with down low, by Christopher Truesdale in the Scotland goal.
Scotland started the second half in the way they had finished the first and almost took the lead within four minutes of the restart when the industrious Michael Hardie burst clean through only to see his effort find the side netting.
Two minutes later Northern Ireland took the lead against the run of play. The Irish side grew in confidence from the goal and began to dominate the midfield spraying the ball around and making Scotland work hard for their route back into the game.
Northern Ireland looked odds on to hold on for a valuable 1-0 away win, but their resistance was broken in the 89th minute when Jai Quitongo, just off the bench brilliantly chased down a lost cause to the byline before firing the ball into the box which cannoned off the Irish centre half to level the game at 1-1, sparking jubilant scenes of celebration both on the park and in the Scotland dugout.
The young Scots shouldn’t be too disappointed with a draw to open their campaign having put so much into the game against a well organised Northern Ireland side. Their next match is the clash with Wales tomorrow (Thursday), March 20 at New Douglas Park, with a 7pm kick off.