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Tuesday 01 Nov 2022
Late equaliser denies U16s Victory Shield win

Competition
Victory Shield 2022

Scoreline
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Northern Ireland

Scorers
Republic of Ireland (Melia 79')

Northern Ireland (McClure 24')

Venue
Gruan Park, Tramore

Date
Tuesday, 1 November 2022

Team news
Boss Kris Lindsay made four changes from the starting XI that lost to Scotland on Sunday with Alex Watson, Fionn Duffy, Dylan Stitt and Ceadach O'Neill coming in for Conor McVeigh, Jack Doherty, Callum Burnside and Olibhar McCart.

How it happened
An evenly matched opening to the game produced no clear cut chances for either side.

However, that changed on 24 minutes when Northern Ireland broke the deadlock after Cole Brannigan laid the ball off on the right side of the area for Blaine McClure to send a low right-foot effort past keeper Marcus Gill into the bottom corner.

Despite that chances were still at a premium although Kris Lindsay's side might have doubled their advantage just before the break when Conor Haughey met a corner from the left with a downward header at the far post only for Gill to get down well to gather the ball.

Half-time: 0-1

Northern Ireland came close again early in the second half when Dylan Stitt was presented with a free header at the far post from a McClure free-kick but Gill showed a safe pair of hands.

At the other end Northern Ireland keeper Will Murdock was called into action for the first time to deal with a Darragh Marshall shot and turn inside the area.

The Republic looked a better proposition in the second half and might twice have levelled just after the hour.

Substitute Mason Melia, just on the pitch a matter of moments, saw an effort superbly blocked by Callum Moreland before Taylor McCarthy blazed the loose ball over after Murdock failed to hold onto a free-kick on the edge of the six-yard box.

Northern Ireland might have secured the victory with ten minutes remaining through Troy Savage only to be denied by the outstretched leg of keeper Gill.

But the Republic levelled with around 90 seconds remaining through the impressive Melia who nodded past Murdock after connecting with Fiachra Coffey's cross.

And the home side might have snatched it in stoppage time when another substitute, Ike Orazi, cut inside only to pull the ball just wide of the left post.

Line-ups

Republic of Ireland: Marcus Gill, Fiachra Coffey, Luca Caillcoe, Taylor McCarthy, Luke Mulligan, Kyle Fitzgerald (Ike Orazi 61), Luke O'Donnell (Matthew Moore 41), Ronnie Gorman (Niall McAndrews 41), Sean Moore, Darragh Marshall (Mason Melia 61), Afi Adebayo (Matthew Murray 41)

Subs not used: Joe Collins, Kaylem Harnett, James Roche, Richard Vodo, Egor Vassenin

Northern Ireland: Will Murdock, Callum Cowan, Conor Haughey, Callum Moreland, Alex Watson, Cole Brannigan (Troy Savage 69), Blaine McClure, Fionn Duffy (Jack Doherty 56), Dylan Stitt (Christopher Atherton 78), Ceadch O'Neill (Mickey Harkin 78), Oscar Kelly (Sean Corry 56)

Subs not used: Joshua Gracey, Callum Burnside, Noah McConnell

Next up
Northern Ireland face Wales in Tramore on Friday morning (11am) in their third and concluding match.