Republic of Ireland 1 Scotland 1

Both sides started off their Centenary Shield campaign with a hard fought 1-1 draw at the home of Athlone Town FC. In the end probably both teams would settle for the draw but both will be hopeful of winning in the future.

A chilly northerly wind blew down the pitch but the players of both sides served up a hotly contested match in front of spectators made up mainly from friends and family.

The Irish side came back from conceding a late first half goal to equalise but the visiting Scottish team refused to buckle under the increasing pressure and they finished the game strongly.

Scotland started the game brightly and made it clear they would not be dominated by their opponents. Some decent build up play resulted in a few half chances for the visitors but when Ireland got into their stride the Scots were thankful to keeper Rohan Harkins for a couple of great saves.

Rohan Harkins denies the Republic - again

The defenders in front of Harkins, Ali Nixon, Owen Doyle, Euan Bowie and Robbie Stewart were resolute and excellent in defending.
Shay Burke was influencing much of the mid field play with Brian Carmichael doing likewise for the Republic side.

Jack Allan, who worked tirelessly up front, was unlucky when his goal attempt was adjudged not to have crossed the goal line with a last gasp defensive clearance

Jack Allan's shot is cleared on the line

A few minutes before half time Scotland got the goal that they deserved. When some clever footwork in the box from Freddie Rowe resulted in a trip tackle the referee pointed to the spot.

The tall Fifer claimed the ball to net calmly with his penalty kick.

Freddie Rowe puts Scotland in the lead

Half time: FAIS 0 SSFA 1.

As expected the Irish side returned after half time in determined mood. They grabbed an equaliser after ten second half minutes with an excellent finish from Carmichael. His well placed shot from a good through ball gave Harkins no chance.

Carmichael equalises for the Republic in the 55th minute

The home team pressed for a second goal but Scotland refused to concede.

Five second half subs were introduced with Jacob Shields and Flynn Mackay coming in firstly and then Callum Graham, Aedan Gilfedder and Archie Gibson joining the game.

In the final minutes of the game it was Scotland who finished strongly and on the front foot but there was no late winner for either team as the game finished at 1-1.

Republic of Ireland next week host their near neighbours Northern Ireland again at Athlone while Scotland will play Wales at Cappielow on Thursday 14th March at 1.00 pm kick off.

Scotland: Rohan Harkin; Ali Nixon, Owen Doyle (c), Euan Bowie, Robbie Stewart, Shay Burke, Reuben Cooper, Matt Falconer, Stuart McDowell, Freddie Rowe and Jack Flynn.
Subs: Jacob Shields, Flynn Mackay, Callum Graham, Aedan Gilfedder, Archie Gibson, Jamie Low, Liam Prunty.

Starting Eleven