Northern Ireland U21s were edged out by Scotland’s U21s this afternoon in the second head-to-head friendly between the two sides this week.
The hosts ran out 3-2 winners in a closely fought encounter at the C&G Systems Stadium in Dumbarton.
The boys in green and white twice came from behind with Ben Wylie (pictured below) and Ryan Waide getting themselves on the scoresheet but Scotland’s Glenn Middleton’s late penalty proved decisive.
The defeat comes on the back of a 2-1 success against the Scots on Thursday.
Tom Clayton put the home team ahead just after the 20-minute mark, lashing home past Northern Ireland keeper Dermot Mee from Daniel McKay’s cross.
Within five minutes Northern Ireland were level as Celtic’s Ben Wylie (on loan at Ballymena United) calmly slotted the ball past Archie Mair with a fine left foot finish from close range.
But it was the Scots who were in the driving seat three minutes before the break. When Logan Chalmers dummied Josh McPake’s pass it left space for Ben Williamson to fire a shot in off the bar and into the net to make it 2-1.
With resilience in abundance Northern Ireland fought back to level for a second time. Step up Ballymena United’s Waide who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle having been teed up by Oisin Smyth.
The match was delicately poised but it was Scotland who edged it thanks to Middleton's late spot kick.
In the closing stages Andy Crosby's side pressed for a third equaliser. Barry Baggley let fly from the edge of the box but his shot was off target.
Scotland: Mair (Kinnear 67), Burroughs, Welsh (Deas), Mayo, Banks (Middleton 67), Kelly, Williamson (Urain 67), Clayton, Chalmers (Erhahon 75), Mackay, McPake (MacGregor 72).
Northern Ireland: Mee, Hume, Balmer, Cousin-Dawson, Donnelly (Finlayson 63), Stewart, (Scott 63), Boyd-Munce (Boyle 46), Smyth, Johnson, Taylor (McCann 58), Wylie (Waide 58).