In their second and final game in Jersey this week Northern Ireland’s Under-18 Schoolboys were narrowly defeated 1-0 by a Jersey U21 side. It was a closely contested game of few chances.
Youth international friendly
Jersey U21s 1-0 Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys
Jersey U21s: Luke Coutanche (25’)
Springfield Stadium, St Helier, Jersey
Wednesday 8 February 2023
The game was the U18 Schoolboys team’s final warm-up match before the Centenary Shield kicks off next month.
In game one at the same venue, on Tuesday, Simon Nicks’ side had a comfortable 5-0 win against Jersey U18s.
Nicks made seven changes to the 11 who started the first game in St Helier.
Rian Brown replaced Ryan Kerr in nets, while Odhran McCart, Logan Wallace, Connor Armstrong, Diego McGann, Jake Martin and Luca Doherty all started after being subs for matchday one.
How it happened
In frosty conditions both teams found it difficult to get into any kind of rhythm, especially in the opening 20 minutes.
Jersey broke the deadlock on 25 minutes. A poor clearance fell to attacker Luke Coutanche and he volleyed home from close range.
Just before the interval Northern Ireland carved out a couple of half chances.
Wallace fired an effort across the face of the goal and then McCart volleyed over from 10 yards.
Half-time: Jersey U21s 1-0 Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys
Both teams made changes at the interval with McCart, Michael Morgan and Martin being replaced by Kyle McCloskey, Charlie Chapman and Callan Farley.
Northern Ireland started the second half well with Chapman firing across the face of goal.
Adhamh Towe came on after 70 minutes and made an impact with his energy and strong running.
In the 80th minute Corey Smith had a fierce shot pushed around the post by the Jersey keeper. And from the resulting corner Farley’s header was well saved by the keeper.
Northern Ireland continued to pile on the pressure but couldn’t make the breakthrough.
Afterwards NISFA honorary secretary Ashton Shields said the trip had been vital preparation for the Centenary Shield and he also thanked the Jersey FA for hosting the matches. Northern Ireland’s first game in this year’s Centenary Shield competition is against Scotland at Blanchflower Stadium in east Belfast on 2 March (7pm).
Full-time: Jersey U21s 1-0 Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys
Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys: Rian Brown, Sean Brown, Odhran McCart, Logan Wallace, Ben Walker, Connor Armstrong, Diego McGann, Jake Martin, Corey Smith, Michael Morgan (captain), Luca Doherty.
Substitutes: Ryan Kerr (GK), Callan Farley, Adhamh Towe, Joshua Ness, Charlie Chapman, Ben McGonigle, Kyle McCloskey.
Jersey U21s: P Roche, JJ Lloyd, F Boyle, D Burton, S Sutcliffe, J Lumsden, P O’Toole, M Carvalho, L Coutanche, S Henia-Kamau, D Myalo.
Substitutes: J Videgrain, H Scott, L Vieira, S McColgan, B Beatson.