Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Northern Ireland B boys are Scotched

Scotland B 3 N Ireland B 0

Andy Webster returned to action with the opening goal for Scotland B in a comfortable win over Northern Ireland.

The big defender, 27, is on the comeback trail again at Ibrox again and, two minutes after the break, he followed up his own saved header from an Ian Black cross to slam the ball past Irish keeper Jonathan Tuffey.

George Boyd, the England-born winger making his international debut for Scotland, drove home the second in the 76th minute when he was set up by substitute Leigh Griffiths.

The pair combined five minutes from the end to allow the Livingston striker to slot home number three on his international debut and ensure a positive end to the occasion.

The small band of travelling fans among the crowd of 2110 tried to inject some atmosphere into a rather drab start but it was the Scots who might have taken the lead within two minutes.

Motherwell defender Stevie Hammell fired a free-kick in to the near post which appeared to beat Tuffey and cross the line before the Partick Thistle keeper scooped it back out.

In the 17th minute Tuffey was called into action again when he pulled off a decent save from Steven Naismith's low drive from just inside the box.

Northern Ireland wideman Josh McQuoid responded moments later with an effort from distance but the ball cleared the bar by yards.

Scotland looked the most likely and in the 25th minute Cardiff winger Chris Burke stung the hands of Tuffey with an angled shot which the Thistle keeper palmed high into the air before the danger was cleared.

A flash-flood at the interval appeared to put the game in some doubt but when play resumed, Scotland took the lead within two minutes.

Black, on at the break for Scott Arfield, played a short corner with Naismith and when his cross came over, Webster's header was saved by Tuffey before the Rangers played followed in to ram home the rebound.

As the visitors forced their way back in to the game, Scotland keeper David Marshall was forced to dive at the feet of Rangers striker Andy Little to prevent him equalising after Mark Reynolds failed to clear his lines.

In the 70th minute substitute Oliver Norwood, on for Niall McGinn minute earlier, drew a fine save from Marshall with a 30-yard free-kick, the former Celtic keeper tipping the ball over the bar for a corner.

Six minutes later Boyd made the game certain when he took a pass from Griffiths and rifled the ball low past Tuffey.

And in the 85th minute Boyd returned the compliment when he sent Griffiths clear of the Irish defence and the teenager showed great confidence in his finish.

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