Scots held to a 2-2 draw as Wales levelled in final minute

Scotland were just 29 seconds away from a 2-1 win in the final test match against Wales at Glasgow Green – it was hard to bare when Wales equalised with a deflection to share the spoils. Most importantly this was a much improved performance from Jonny Caren`s charges – they played with plenty of grit and determination and were unfortunate not to reap the reward.

There were three more Scotland debutants today – Lewis Fraser, Jamie Green and Iain McFadden.

The Scots started the game on the front foot in quarter one. Jamie Golden`s penalty corner was easily blocked by the Welsh keeper, then Kyle White tried his luck from a very narrow angle, but to no real effect.

The Scots had another chance early in the second quarter, Struan Walkers pass across the circle was diverted just wide by Ali Douglas. That was followed by another Scotland penalty corner, this time Golden low flick was swept off the line by a defender. Wales had a couple of chances at the other end but Tommy Alexander easily coped with the danger. And so it was goalless at the interval.

Early in the third quarter produced another good chance for the Scots, it was created by Walker who fed the ball to Keir Robb but the Edinburgh University striker shot just wide of the target. It was Wales who took the lead, perhaps somewhat against the run of play, through Ben Francis. The Scots retaliation was immediate, within seconds a low shot from Pete Caughey gave the Welsh keeper no chance and the score was quickly back to level. A superb finish and first goal for Scotland.

The home side started the final quarter determined to take the lead, Keir Robb`s effort was blocked by the keeper, then a chance fell to Struan Walker but his shot was fired wide of the target. Then a brilliant breakaway move involving several players opened up the Welsh defence and took out the keeper at the same time leaving a diving Ali Douglas to divert the ball into the empty net for a 2-1 lead.

With four minutes left the Welsh coach replaced his keeper with an additional outfield player to rescue the contest.
With three minutes left Wales were awarded their first penalty corner of the match and the Scots defence managed to clear the danger in the ensuing scramble.
With two minutes left Wales pressed strongly for the equaliser.
With one minute left a rash challenge donated Wales another penalty corner and it brought about a great double save from keeper Tommy Alexander.
With 48 seconds left Wales were awarded another penalty corner which in the end came to nothing.
But with 29 seconds left Jack Pritchard deflected a hard ball into the circle past Alexander.

A disappointing end to a game the Scots deserved to win.

Jonny Caren expressed “Today was a notable improvement on yesterday’s performance and we got the reaction we were looking for from the athletes.”

“I was really happy with the character of the team, when they went down a goal, which in turn sparked and instant reaction to equalise immediately. To see the guys stick with the process and start to create some great phases of play which I was happy they were rewarded with a quality team goal to take the lead.”

“We are obviously really disappointed with conceding so late in the game in the manor we did, but once again, it provides our squad another really important lesson to learn. It was reassuring to see the guys bitterly disappointed with not winning the game, rather than being satisfied with the draw.”

“The three new capped players today, really stepped up and added a lot of value to what we did as a team.”

“There are not many occasions in international hockey that you will see 10 new capped players over 2 games for a nation, but it highlights the hard work that has gone in over the past 12months with this squad and the work that has gone in over the last few years of developing talent within the pathway which has now provided great depth within the senior men’s programme and an environment of competition for places.”

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