Ireland U16s finish Victory Shield with Scotland draw
THE Republic of Ireland U16 side were held by Scotland in their final fixture in the Victory Shield in Newport today.
5th Nov 2015
Paul Osam's side led through a first half goal by Aaron Bolger but conceded a second half penalty and were unfortunate not to force a winner.
Ireland came close to threatening an opener in the 16th minute saw a Scottish defender clear off the line after a corner.
Six minutes later Scottish keeper Jon McCracken made a decent save to deny Ireland striker Thomas Caffrey after he burst through on goal.
Three minutes before the break a fantastic run by Luke Nolan sees him beat two players before curling an effort just going wide of the far post.
Just on the half-time whistle Ireland scored after they countered following a Scots corner and Bolger found the net with a low driven effort.
Unfortunately for Osam's side they conceded a penalty just three minutes into the second half with Elliott Watt finding the net.
Connolly came close to restoring Ireland's lead in the 65th minute with a low strike that was well pushed away by keeper McCraken.
Three minutes into extra-time Jonathan Afolabi almost snatched a winner when he drilled narrowly wide with the goal at his mercy.
"We played quite well in the first half and scored a very good goal. The performance was as good as it was in the first two games although Scotland were very good," said Osam.
"Scotland were very good in the second half and we tired but we did very well with two late chances. It may have been an injustice if we'd stolen it but I think these things even themselves out and we may have deserved our luck.
"Our goal came from an excellent break with Lee O'Connor, Jordan Doherty and Luke Nolan linking to set up Aaron Bolger who came forward from right back. He took a touch and scored a lovely goal.
"We showed great character when the elements were poor and we had to dig in and frustrated them.
"They'll have learned a lot from playing games and the limited time we have with them in terms of roles and responsibilities. That takes time and we don't have the time to go through everything with them. We tried to give them an understanding of the system and the Emerging Talent Programme has been a huge help as they've come through that process.
"We'll know sit down and look at the rest of the season. The UEFA Development Tournament is in Hungary in May and between now and then we'll look to get them together as much as we can within the budgetary confinements."
REUBLIC OF IRELAND: Brian Maher, Aaron Bolger, Cian Lee, Marcus Rowley, Kevin Healy, Aaron McColgan, Luke Nolan, Thomas Caffrey, Aaron Connolly, Jordan Doherty, Lee O'Connor. Subs: James Jennings for McColgan 40 mins, Cian Hughes for Rowley 40, Alex Kelly for Doherty 66, Jonathan Afolabi for Caffrey 75 , Luke O'Brien for Healy 80.