Under 16s draw in Poland
Buoyed by their success in capturing the Victory Shield one week ago the Northern Ireland Under 16 team began their short tour to Poland in confident mood despite facing an experienced Polish team which had lost only once in ten outings this year..
The visitors started brightly and might have taken the lead after 5 minutes. Sean McAllister was brought down just outside the penalty area and took the free kick himself, bringing an outstanding save from Krzysztof Barkowski.
Five minutes later Poland replied with a speculative shot from Aleksander Buksa which dipped just over the bar.
A corner by Conor Bradley caused problems in the home defence and Charlie Allen's close range effort was cleared off the line. Allen then outpaced his marker down the right and a low cross was turned onto the post by Dale Taylor.
After the break another foray down the right saw Allen fire a low ball across the goal but Taylor was just unable to apply the finishing touch.
Buksa was a constant threat for Poland and the tall striker almost broke the deadlock midway through the second half but his shot from 25 yards crashed against the bar with Conner Byrne well beaten.
In the closing stages spurred on by a vociferous support Poland piled on the pressure but the Northern Ireland defence, in which centre back Shea Charles was a calming influence, held firm for a well deserved draw.
The teams meet again on Thursday at Swarzędz.
Conner Byrne, Sean McAllister, Sean Stewart, Aaron Donnelly, Shea Charles, Orrin McLaughlin, Charlie Allen, Jonah Heron, Dale Taylor, Isaac Price, Conor Bradley (captain)
Caolan McBride (replaced Bradley 80 + 3 minutes)
- Published in U16 victory shield