SCOTLAND'S under-16 side just came up short against their English counterparts in their bid to lift the Sky Sports Victory Shield last night at the Globe Arena in Morecambe.
England's 2-1 win in the contest, that was postponed twice last December, saw the Auld Enemy finish the competition in top spot for a tenth year in a row.
Ross Mathie's youngsters, who needed only a draw to lift the Home Nations tournament for the first time in 12 years, endured a miserable opening half where they lost goals and players; however, they almost secured the point they needed with a rousing end to the game.
England moved into top gear quickly and Ryan Crump had to save from Joe Rothwell with five minutes played. But the opening goal was only delayed a minute.
Scotland played a hand in their own undoing as midfielder Blair Munn attempted to stab the ball back to his defenders, but he over-hit his pass and Liverpool's David Moli was on to it in a flash. Moli took his time before sliding a low left foot shot underneath Crump.
England went two ahead in 28 minutes and when substitute Jack Kirwan mistimed his first tackle and Jordan Graham curled in the resultant free kick to the six yard line with Ryan Innis of Crystal Palace rising to head home. To complete a miserable opening half, Ross Madden limped off after 38 minutes and then Smith was stretchered off in injury time.
England started the second half on top with Moli going close with a header; however, Scotland came alive with quarter of an hour to go when Lewis Kidd crossed for Darren Ramsay and his low drive forced George Willis into a low diving save.
That gave the Scots heart and Kirwan pulled a goal back when he converted a Stephen Findlay knock-down to set up an exciting last few minutes. but the Scots ran out of time.
England U16: Willis (Sheffield Utd), Facey (Man City) (Pearson (Man Utd) 48], Shaw (Southampton), Poyet (Charlton) (Gordon (Chelsea) 41], Innis (Crystal Palace), Chambers (West Ham), Graham (Aston Villa) (Thomas (Derby) 61], Lipman (Arsenal) (Robinson (Aston Villa) 41], Moli (Liverpool) (Long (Everton) 61], Rothwell (Man Utd) Wallace (Nottingham Forest). Substitutes: Clark (Hull), McGee (Tottenham).
Scotland U16: Crump (Liverpool), Ramsay (Rangers), Madden (Celtic) (Lunday (Dundee United) 38], Turnbull (Falkirk), Findlay (Celtic), Lindsay (Celtic), Storie (Aberdeen) (Murdoch (Rangers) 63], Munn (Falkirk) (Kirwan (Celtic) 28], Johnstone (Celtic) (Sibbald (Falkirk) 73], Kidd (Celtic), Smith (Aberdeen) (Finnie (Hamilton) 40]. Substitutes: Hart (Celtic), Duggan (Queen's Park).