Dreich and swirling weather welcomed Wales to Scotland and the Falkirk Stadium tonight as the table toppers of the Victory Shield met. Chilly drizzle drove the decent crowd higher up the main stand to create a cosy atmosphere. The Welsh took a bit of time to settle, with the swirling wind not helping, and for the most part were willing to put the home goal under threat from the 20 metre line. Scotland on the other hand were willing to take the ball into the box to try their luck. The first half did not deliver much in the way of sparkling football with both tactics cancelling out each other. With both sides yet to concede a goal in the competition this year it was not much of a surprise for the half to end 0-0. Stand outs for Scotland in the half were Denny Johnstone and Cameron Smith. The former led the line well and was not easily brushed off the ball. His close control was good to see as was his skill in spotting better options for his teammates and back-heeling the ball to them.
In the second half it was more Scotland holding sway. The drizzle had stopped which made watching and the playing slightly more enjoyable. It got more enjoyable as the time towards the 80 minutes move forward. Scotland continued to play to feet and close control was the order of the day. This paid off to good effect in the 64 minute when Smith managed to find the half metre he needed to fire the ball past the outstretched hand of Alex Lynch in the visitors goal. The ball was played between at least three Scotland forwards while the Welsh defence were that millisecond too slow to react and get the ball out of the danger zone. Smith was on the 6 metre line and moved slightly to his left before firing the ball to his right and into the net. While this was to be celebrated, there were other good things to report as well. Craig Storie appeared to be everywhere blocking this and tackling that to irritate and break up Welsh moves. However, he was not around in the 79 minute when Wales secured a point when Josh Yorwerth fired in a shot - again from long range - which took a wicked deflection which took the ball past Ryan Crump in the Scotland goal.
So tactics employed by both sides worked out well for them and a point apiece was accepted as a fair result from Scotland coach Ross Mathie. He appreciated that it is difficult for young players to deliver the consistency required. He warned about discounting any the sides in the Shield. England have a depth of pool that allows them to have four Under 16 sides to choose from. Just because one of them lost 4-0 to Wales, there is no guarantee that it will be that side which will pitch up against Scotland on 2 December.
Scotland: Crump, Ramsey, Turnbull, Urquhart, Findlay, Lindsay, Smith, Storie, Johnstone, Kidd, Duggan
Subs: Hart, Kirwan, Munn, Sibbald, Madden Johnston, Lunday
Wales: Lynch, John, Strong, Dalley, Yorwerth, Weeks, Holden, Jones, James, O'Sullivan, John
Subs: Stephens, Kandi, Evans, Barrow, Bowen, Reid, Williams
Referee: Kevin Clancy