Lawrence Shankland earns Danny Lennon victory

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A LATE Lawrence Shankland double earned Danny Lennon’s Scotland Under-21 side a win in his first game as caretaker boss and he admits he’s desperate to land the role.

The young Scots were trailing in Tatabanya until the Aberdeen striker netted twice in the last five minutes to give the Under-21s a deserved win.

Lawrence Shankland hit a brace. Picture: SNS

Lawrence Shankland hit a brace. Picture: SNS

Former St Mirren manager Lennon now faces an anxious wait to discover if he has got the job with Brian McClair soon taking over as SFA Performance Director.

But he admits he would love to be Billy Stark’s successor.

He said: “I’ve made no secret of the fact that it’s a job I would love. I’ve treated it as if I’ll be here for the long-term. It’s been a fantastic six weeks and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, particularly this week.

“The players and staff have been terrific. I’d love the role full-time but it’s outwith my control. I can only do the job to the best of my ability and I’ll now sit down and have a discussion with Stewart Regan from the SFA.

“Brian McClair will also have his thoughts on the performance strategy but I want to kick on in the job.”

And Lennon was delighted at his side’s high-temp performance.

He stressed: I couldn’t have asked for any more from the players.

“We tried to stay away from the term ‘friendly’ because these boys have to get into the habit of winning at this level.

“And winning here has given them an experience to treasure. They also showed they’ve got a bit of grit and determination as a Scotland team to get a result.

“I felt we deserved the victory because we were the better team in the first half and all of our subs had an impact.

“It was a fantastic debut from Lawrence. We had a lot of good performances but to go and score two goals that win the game in your first cap, that’s fairytale stuff.”

Scotland were certainly the better side in the first half and Ryan Gauld came close to opening the scoring with a diving header.

But it was the home side who took a 62nd minute lead against the run of play. Scotland failed to clear their lines from a free-kick and the ball fell perfectly for Szenes who scored past Jack Hamilton after coming on as a sub a minute earlier.

Scotland lost their way after that goal though and failed to create much in the way of chances despite enjoying plenty of possession.

But they finally managed to find the equaliser with just five minutes to go with a goal made at Pittodrie by two second-half subs. Cammy Smith combined with Aberdeen team-mate Shankland to level when the midfielder’s looping cross was nodded in at the back post by the young Dons striker.

And Shankland won it for the Scots in injury time when Caley Thistle’s Ryan Christie swung in a great cross from the right and the striker bundled it into the net at the second time of asking.


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