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Sunday 30 Oct 2022
Northern Ireland lose to Scotland in Victory Shield opener

Competition
Victory Shield 2022

Scoreline
Northern Ireland 1-3 Scotland

Scorers
Northern Ireland (Moreland 73')

Scotland (Wilson 13' & 23'; Chambers 18')

Venue
Gruan Park, Tramore

Date
Sunday, 30 October 2022

Team news
Boss Kris Lindsay made four changes from the starting XI that defeated Estonia earlier this month, with Glentoran's Conor Haughey donning the captain's armband while Will Murdock, Jack Doherty and Oscar Kelly also came off the bench to begin the game.

How it happened
Northern Ireland created the first effort of note on eight minutes when, from a short corner, skipper Conor Haughey just failed to touch the ball home at the right post.

At the other end James Wilson came within a whisker of opening the scoring with a near post header flicked across the face of goal but no-one was there to capitalise.

The deadlock was broken on 13 minutes when Scotland's Sam Chambers was upended just inside the area with Wilson duly converting from the spot despite keeper Will Murdock doing well to get a hand to it.

Northern Ireland responded positively and almost levelled moments later after Blaine McClure whipped over a free-kick from wide on the left for Callum Burnside to head just the wrong side of the far post.

However Scotland doubled their advantage on 18 minutes through Chambers after his strong driving run through the defence ended with a low strike from the edge of the area into the bottom right corner.

Scotland added a third five minutes after that when, on the counter attack, Chambers laid the ball off for Wilson to confidently go past Murdock and slot into the net.

Half-time: 0-3

Despite being the better side in the second half Northern Ireland were unable to force Scottish keeper Jack Wyllie into making any meaningful saves until just before the hour mark when Jack Doherty forced him into a low save at the near post with a shot from the right.

Further opportunities came Northern Ireland's way after that courtesy of a Callum Cowan cross from the left into the box which Wyllie plucked to safety from underneath the bar.

Burnside then sent a strong left foot curling effort towards goal from outside the area but Wyllie once again proved to be a safe pair of hands.

Kris Lindsay decided to ring the changes on 68 minutes with no fewer than four substitutions.

And that move paid dividends within five minutes when one of those new faces, Glenavon's Christopher Atherton, sent over a corner from the right for Calum Moreland to nod powerfully home in front of goal.

Unfortunately that failed to spark a late comeback for Northern Ireland as the Scots were understandably content to sit on their two-goal advantage for the remainder of the game.

Line-ups

Northern Ireland: Will Murdock, Conor McVeigh, Callum Cowan, Conor Haughey, Calum Moreland, Blaine McClure, Cole Brannigan (Sean Corry 68'), Jack Doherty (Troy Savage 76'), Oscar Kelly (Christopher Atherton 68'), Callum Burnside (Ceadach O'Neill 68'), Olibhar McCart (Dylan Stitt 68')

Subs not used: Mickey Harkin, Joshua Gracey, Noah McDonnell, Alex Watson

Scotland: Jack Wyllie, Cameron Scott (Finlay Hale 72'), Ronan Ferns (Joshua McDonald 53'), Aiden McGinley, Aidan Borland (Tyler Fletcher 53'), James Wilson, Alfie Halliwell, Gregor Burn, Gus Stevenson, Sam Chambers (Ben Brannon 53'), Josh Landers (Josh King 59')

Subs not used: Ollie Ecrepont, Lewis Pirie

Next up

Northern Ireland face the Republic of Ireland in Tramore on Tuesday evening (7pm) in their second match.