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England lose at Bootham Crescent

23rd March 2018

ENGLAND's Under-18 schoolboys lost 2-0 against Scotland at Bootham Crescent tonight in the Centenary Shield.

Over 800 supporters attended the fixture - which was also being televised - and the two young sides delivered a true Friday night treat.

Winger Daniel Mackay gave Scotland the lead in the first half and substitute Nathan Fell wrapped things up with a stunning goal in second half injury time.

England captain Cormac Pike was sent off for an ugly challenge on Fell in the 77th minute to compound his side's disappointment.

The two teams had been led onto the field by 36 young mascots who also lined-up with the players for the national anthems prior to kick-off.

Having opened their campaign with a goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland seven days earlier at Luton Town's Kenilworth Road, anything less than a victory for England would offer a serious blow to hopes of retaining the Centenary Shield.

And they fell behind after 19 minutes when winger Mackay rose to head home a right-wing cross from Reece Rintoul.

The goal would have come as a massive relief for Mackay who, just moments earlier, had seen a penalty-kick saved low to the left by England goalkeeper Callum Coulter after being tripped by Ethan Brookes.

England initially shrugged off the setback - and were unlucky not to equalise when striker King Baidoo headed narrowly wide from a Cieran Jackson corner - but Scotland then began to impose a degree of authority on the contest.

Defender Sam McCallum blocked a dangerous freekick from Rintoul and Nathan Brown sent a powerful header inches wide of the England net when meeting a curling cross from Jack Hodge.

Striker Gavin Scott's effort was blocked after a clever piece of skill took him beyond fullback Noah Smerdon and centreback Jack McDowell narrowly failed to get his head on a cross which fizzed past the far post.

England eventually managed to trouble the Scotland defence again in the 40th minute but captain Pike's thumping drive from 12 yards was blocked in the goal area by Cameron Clark.

Scotland substitute Alex Kemp let England off the hook at the start of the second half when his close-range header bounced the wrong-side of Coulter's left-hand post.

Tackling became more robust and Scotland goalscorer Mackay was the first player into the book on 53 minutes swiftly followed by team-mate Kemp for a late challenge on McCallum.

England striker Baidoo was next into the referee's notebook for allegedly diving in the area under pressure from Nathan Brown.

Winger Emmanuel Ogunrinde was back at Bootham Crescent five months after scoring the winning goal for Salford City against York City in an FA Youth Cup tie. He was unable to get on the scoresheet this time around and was substituted midway through the second half.

Although Scotland took the first half spoils, England improved considerably after the interval and dominated for long periods.

But Pike was shown a straight red card for an ugly studs-up challenge on Scotland substitute Fell and England were reduced to ten men for the final 13 minutes of the game.

Substitute Harwood might have doubled the lead in the 85th minute but his shot struck the foot of the England post before rolling across the goalmouth to safety.

Rintoul, meanwhile, collected the fifth yellow card of the game as referee Seb Stocksbridge battled to keep the England-Scotland rivalry in check.

Scotland wrapped things up, two minutes into stoppage time, as Fell struck a beautiful curling shot from 25 yards that sailed into the top corner of the England net.

England's next game in the Centenary Shield is against Wales at Cardiff Met University on Thursday.

England: Coulter; Brooks (Colling HT), Crowther (Ajayi-O'Connor 90+5), Pike, Smerdon; Ogunrinde (Butler 71), Jackson (Penny 87), Doyle, McCallum; Baidoo, Howell (Neligwa 43). Unused substitutes: Deda, Gould.

Scotland: Anderson; McKeown, Brown, McDowall, Clark; Walker (Harwood 64), Rintoul, Walsh, Mackay (Watt 81); Scott (Fell 74), Hodge (Kemp HT). Unused substitutes: Currid, Chalmer, Fagan.

Referee: Seb Stocksbridge

Attendance: 841

Main photograph courtesy of 353 Photography/England Schools Football Association.


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