England beat Scotland 2-0 at Shielfield Park last Thursday in a Fire Service football game. The fixture, played every year, first began in 1969 when the first game was played in Edinburgh.
The game was played under beautiful conditions and Scotland, playing in yellow, and England in white, got the ball rolling, with both sides making their intentions clear through verbal demands from both the managers.
England took the lead in the 23rd minute, courtesy of a brilliant curling free kick from outside the area by number 9, Lee Thompson, which the keeper could only watch sink into his bottom right corner of the net.
The aerial and physical presence of Scotland’s big number 10, Brian McPhee, came to a premature end as he had to be forced off due to injury. England kept the momentum going and they were rewarded by a second goal on the 41 minute mark, this came from a long-range stunner from Ash Hildred as his curling effort nestled in the top left corner, leaving the keeper scrambling to reach it.
England’s number 11, Brendan Sebuliba,was able to run into space and was seeing a lot of the ball in the latter stages of the half. The referee’s whistle signalled a disappointing first half performance from Scotland, looking depleted and dismantled.
England got the second half underway and were applying pressure to the Scottish back line from the off. Scotland were trying everything to get back into the game, trying to force high balls over, the top, clearly missing McPhee, and opting for long-range efforts, but no harm came of this.
They also had a free kick in a dangerous position but Andy Harrison could not work the keeper.
England had chances to make it three with missed opportunities from Sebuliba but nothing came from them. Scotland could not get on the scoresheet as the ref signalled full time, meaning a miserable 2-0 defeat at the hands of England.