Scotland U16s 1 - 2 England U16s: Scotland youngsters can take solace in Shield defeat
By CRIAG P STEWART AT TYNECASTLE SCOTLAND'S youngsters went down bravely against England in front of a near 3,000 crowd at Tynecastle, however the Auld Enemy retained the Sky Sports Victory Shield for sixth time in a row in their own right with only a shared triumph with Scotland breaking a run of success that goes back to 1999. Scouts from the SPL and the English Premier League had flocked to the capital with Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United having a four-man delegation watching the best under 16-year-olds from Scotland and England.
Queens Park Rangers' much-talked ADVERTISEMENTabout striker Raheem Sterling gave a glimpse of why so many top clubs were there in the opening 90 seconds as his trickery took him the touchline with the Scottish defence dealing with his dangerous cut-back at the expense of a fruitless corner.
England came close to opening the scoring in only seven minutes when Andy Jackson rose to meet a free-kick from Matthias Fanimo and his header smacked against the bar and James Wightman did well to clutch Nick Powell's follow-up effort right on his line.
Scotland began to settle after a nervous opening and Islam Feruz warmed the hands of the gloves of Jordon Pickford in the English goal with a 20-yard shot that was pushed round the post.
Powell was gifted a glimpse of goal after Scotland dallied in possession, But he fired over in 25 minutes and Scotland took full advantage by taking the lead with a fine goal in the next minute.
John Heron picked out Jack Grimmer, who had darted in from his right hand side midfield role with a crossfield pass, and the Aberdeen youngster finished with a finely hit right-foot shot.
Scottish joy was shortlived as Scott Campbell made a hash of a clearance just two minutes later to let in Zak Ansah, and he slipped the ball under Wightman from eight yards out with ease.
Campbell redeemed himself three minutes from the break with a finely timed sliding tackle to deny Sterling just as the striker was away to shoot with the Scots almost going in ahead at the interval when Lewis MacLeod released Feruz with the striker sending his parting shot just wide with Pickford beaten. Scotland almost went ahead again in 53 minutes after fine build-up play from Craig Slater who played in Feruz and his parting shot flashed across the face of goal before dropping wide.
England got the goal they needed to retain the Shield right on the hour mark after great work from Fanimo on the right. The West Ham youngster skipped past a couple of challenges before crossing for substitute Hallam Hope, who touched the ball into the path of Blair Turgott and he sent home a fine shot from the edge of the box.
The Scots went down fighting with Feruz missing a close in chance and then referee Steven McLean missing a handball from Jackson in the box which the rest of the Tynecastle crowd saw.
And Football Association Report Shield success in Scotland By Matt Phillips from Tynecastle - Thursday, 26 November, 2009
U16s win Victory Shield for ninth successive year.
Blair Turgott's second-half strike sealed England's ninth consecutive Victory Shield title at Tynecastle Stadium on Thursday.
The West Ham youngster hooked home a right foot shot from ten yards on the hour to send England home victorious, but Kenny Swain's side were made to work for their win after Scotland broke the deadlock on 25 minutes through skipper Jack Grimmer.
The Aberdeen youngster drilled home an unstoppable right foot shot past Jordan Pickford in the England goal after good work from Matthew Kennedy and Lewis MacLeod in the Scotland midfield.
Yet England's reply was almost immediate with Arsenal's Zak Ansah levelling inside three minutes. Hearts defender Scott Campbell failed to clear a chest down from Chalmers and Ansah pounced on the error to poke the ball past Wightman from eight yards. It was a deserved equaliser for England who had rattled the woodwork inside the opening five minutes when Sam Magri's header from a Matthias Fanimo free-kick looped onto the bar.
And England almost made it two just minutes after Ansah's leveller when Fanimo dinked a freekick into the box but Magri failed to connect with the goal at his mercy.
England were now well in control with West Ham duo Turgott and Fanimo dominating down the left. Fanimo went close when he blasted a shot into the side netting while QPR's Raheem Sterling and Ansah saw good efforts go wide.
But Scotland could have gone into the break level when MacLeod put Islam Feruz through on goal. The Celtic striker hit a left foot shot past Pickford but the ball rolled agonisingly wide to the dismay of the near 3,000 crowd. Swain chose to change his striking options in the second half with Sterling and Ansah making way for Hallam Hope and Elikem Amenku at the break.But Scotland were still struggling to contain Turgott and Fanimo in the second half and the duo's pressure eventually paid when Turgott fired home the winner.
Turgott could have put the game beyond doubt when his close range shot was blocked by the courageous Wightman.
Scotland had been reduced to half chances and the Tartan Army saw a penalty shout waved away by the ref when a high ball into the box hit Adam Jackson's left hand.
It proved to be Scotland's final chance and England were left to celebrate another Victory Shield title triumph.