England 3-2 Scotland: Morrison would trade goal

JAMES Morrison admitted his opening goal for Scotland against England at Wembley was the highlight of his career but would have swapped it for a reversal of the 3-2 defeat.

Roy Hodgson: Praised Lambert. Picture: Reuters

The West Brom midfielder fired the Scots ahead in the challenge match after 11 minutes with a drive from outside the box but Theo Walcott levelled before the break.

Kenny Miller shot the Scots back into the lead just after the break before headers from Danny Welbeck and debutant Ricky Lambert.

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Morrison said: “It was definitely the highlight of my career. I’m lost for words. It will take a few weeks for it to sink in.

“I got it out of my feet and I thought ‘I’m going to hit this’ and obviously it went in to the back of the net, it was a great feeling.

“Joe Hart is a great keeper and he does save a lot of long shots but it was solid strike and it moved a bit. I am delighted.

“But I would have like a win more than a goal.”

Vancouver Whitecaps striker Miller, who was left out of Scotland’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying win in Croatia in June, believes the Scots let themselves down at the two set-pieces after the break which allowed England to grab the win. The former Rangers and Celtic striker said: “We gave everything we had. With two goals, you might expect to have something from the game.

“It was disappointing, the two goals we lost in the second half, two set plays, it should be our bread and butter. We are normally quite good at that but tonight we let ourselves down and it cost us the game.

“Obviously but it was fantastic to come back and get involved in the national team and to get a goal in a Scotland versus England game at Wembley was a bit of a dream.

“But it would have been far better if it would have been part of a positive result.

“The dream would have been it being the winning goal.

“It was a nice goal. It was a great ball in from big Alan Hutton. I managed to turn and get the shot off and fortunately it went in.

“The two goals from set plays was disappointing but there are a lot of positives we can take.”

Lambert reflected on a moment he had been waiting for all his life as he came off the bench to mark his England debut with the winning goal. The 31-year-old Southampton striker headed home a Leighton Baines corner with his first touch. It capped a madcap few days for Lambert, whose call in to Roy Hodgson’s squad last week came on the same day his wife gave birth to their third child. Asked what the goal meant to him, Lambert said: “That’s what I’ve been dreaming of probably all my life. It means so much.

“I fancied myself, what a ball by Leighton – exactly where I wanted it to go – and I managed to get rid of my marker and get a firm header.”

The enjoyable match has intensified calls for the fixture to be reinstated on a more regular basis than the last two encounters, which were separated by 14 years. England manager Roy Hodgson noted the competitive nature of the contest.

“We made life difficult for ourselves by conceding twice,” said Hodgson. “But all credit to Scotland, they were well organised, sharp on the counter attack and restricted the space on the edge of the box. But it’s more satisfying when you win a game like that by coming from behind twice and even more satisfying when you have the fairytale of Rickie Lambert.

“We worked hard to get close to our opponents, took risks with the ball, got forward and created many more opportunities in dangerous situations than we have in recent games. But the biggest positive was to come from behind. When you have to chase the game and opponents have to stop you, there’s always a risk they’ll catch you on the counter attack, like Miller’s goal to put them 2-1 up.

“It was a very fast surface. I didn’t think there was anything really malicious in the game, but both teams were very competitive and played it in the right spirit. 80,000 people haven’t turned up to see an exhibition, they turned up to see a very competitive match and that’s what they got.”