The Northern Ireland Under 16 team began their defence of the Victory Shield with a 1-1 draw against Wales at Wrexham.
Gerard Lytle’s boys got off to a flying start as Conor Scannell carved open the home defence and sent over a perfect cross to Jamie Donley whose header went inches past the post.
On 13 minutes the visitors deservedly went in front when Donley was brought down inside the box. The striker got up to plant the spot kick into the corner of the net.
Oliver Lamb and Scannell were causing problems for the Welsh defence. In a good move down the right Lamb and Scannell combined well to create an opening for Jacson Coppack but his shot was well held by the goalkeeper.
Two minutes before the break Donley went close to doubling the lead but his powerful header was brilliantly turned onto the bar by Welsh keeper Tyler Evans and the ball was scrambled away.
Wales drew level within two minutes of the restart when substitute Joel Cotterill sent a 20 yard free kick just inside the post giving Alex Henderson no chance..
On the hour Wales missed a great opportunity as a four man breakaway bore down on Henderson but centre back Michael Forbes got back to avert the danger. Three minutes later Kian Jenkins went even closer but his shot from the edge of the box came off the upright with Henderson well beaten.
In the closing stages both sides pushed hard for the winner as play flowed from end to end. Conor Falls tested Evans with a powerful drive and Shea Brennan shot straight at the keeper from 15 yards but the best chance fell to Welsh substitute Morgan Williams in the final minute when he broke clear but dragged his shot wide of the upright.
On Wednesday morning Northern Ireland will face Scotland who trounced the Republic of Ireland 4-0 to top the table.
Alex Henderson, Brodie Spencer,Matthew Carson,Michael Forbes,Josh Roney, Aidan Lillis,Conor Scannell, Harry Wilson (c), Jamie Donley,Jacson Coppack
Conor Falls replaced Lamb 52 minutes
Ethan Sousa replaced Wilson 72 minutes
Ruairi McConville replaced Lillis 79 minutes
Shea Brennan replaced Donley 79 minutes
- Published in NISFA News