England retain Victory Shield
Wednesday, 30 March, 2011
Win over Scotland in Morecambe secures tenth straight Shield.
By James Marshall at Globe Arena
A packed crowd of 2252 welcomed the Auld Enemy enemy to Morecambe’s brand new stadium The Globe Arena for what was the 2010-11 Sky Sports Victory Shield decider. England knew that only a victory would be good enough for them if they were to retain the title, whilst the Scots could win it by simply avoiding defeat.
Kenny Swain made ten changes to the side that beat Northern Ireland 3-0 in Ballymena last week, with the exception of Manchester United’s Joe Rothwell who took his place among the starting eleven.
England made the brighter start of the two sides with Rothwell nearly giving his side the lead after just six minutes. A low cross from Luke Shaw on the left hand side landed just a bit too quickly for Rothwell to connect properly and he was unlucky not to steer it past the Scottish goalkeeper Ryan Crump.
However, a minute later the Young Lions made Scotland pay, as a deflected ball from Blair Munn landed in David Moli’s path and the Liverpool youngster calmly slotted the ball into the corner of the net to give his side the lead.
The Young Lions dominated the first 40 minutes and doubled their lead when centre-half Ryan Inniss headed past Crump in the Scottish goal. The Crystal Palace schoolboy towered above the defence to power his header home with Crump given no chance.
England’s greatest success over Scotland was a notable 8-2 victory at Wembley in front of 53,000 fans in 1950, the crowd wasn’t quite that tonight in Morecambe but they certainly made themselves known with great support for the youngsters.
No wonder Swain’s team wanted to get out early for the second half, too early in fact for the England coaching staff who hurried them back into the changing rooms. The commitment was great to see with the Young Lions looking to cement their names in the Shield’s history books.
The England v Scotland Schoolboy fixture is a 100 years old this year. The countries first met in Newcastle in 1911, the match finished in a 1-1 draw. The 2011 match tonight went all England’s way as they continued to outplay their 'Auld Enemy' throughout the second-half.
After not putting the game to bed with numerous chances though, it was Scotland who scored against the run of play to make it a tense last ten minutes for England. Substitute Jack Kirwan grabbing a scrappy goal and breathing life into the visitors.
This didn’t faze the Young Lions one bit, as they showed maturity beyond their years to consolidate the win. England celebrated emphatically at the end as they were crowned winners of the Sky Sports Victory Shield for the tenth time in a row.