Wales were denied victory in the final minute at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth last night in a game played in blustery wet conditions.
Wales were looking for their first victory over the Scots since 2007 and started well. Chilekwa shot over the bar after six minutes and the Scots looked hesitant in the opening period, but gradually gained more possession with Dundee United’s talented Alistair Coote causing most of the problems on the left side. Wales goalkeeper Kelland Absalom made a fine save to deny O’Hara and looked assured throughout the game.
Everton’s Nathan Broadhead showed good balance, vision and quick feet and was at the heart of Wales’ best play, but as the half progressed Scotland came into the game and finished strongly taking the lead in the 34th minute following a superb floated cross by Alistair Coote which was met by a good downward header by Kevin O’Hara.
Wales had a penalty claim denied by the referee just before half-time when Sam Williams was brought down in the area following good work again by Broadhead.
Wales made a double substitution at the interval with Swansea City’s Liam Cullen and Wolves defender Ryan Leak replacing wingers Chilekwa and Mwamuka. Leak’s introduction enabled Rhyle Ovenden to move up to strengthen the midfield. Scotland replaced Hill with Gilmour.
Absalom continued to show a commanding presence behind the Welsh defence and twice made excellent saves to deny Heaney.
Wales showed far greater urgency in the second half and gained a deserved equaliser in the 52nd minute. Skipper Ryan Harrington surged forward and passed superbly to Broadhead whose shot was saved by keeper McRorie, but the ball came out to Tyler Roberts who slotted it home.
Archibald replaced the injured Coote in the 69th minute just before Wales took the lead. A mistake by Scotland allowed Liam Cullen to score with a delightful left foot chip over the keeper from just outside the penalty area. It was no more than Wales deserved and they looked far stronger in midfield following their substitutions.
Absalom again saved well from Heaney in the 74th minute and two minutes later Ben Keating replaced Rhyle Ovenden.
In the final minute substitute Theo Archibald stole in at the far post to meet a low cross by Calvin Miller to deny Wales victory. It was a disappointing end to a spirited second-half performance by Wales who showed great character, something which must have pleased manager Osian Roberts.
Wales: Chilweka(7) and Mwamka (11) off. Cullen(18) and Leak (17) on
Scotland: Hill(8) off. Gilmour (16) on
46 minutes: Scotland: O’Hara (9) off, Norris (19) on
69 minutes: Scotland: Coote (11) off. Archibald (18) on
76 minutes: Wales: Ovenden (5) off, Keating (14) on
80 minutes: Wales: Abbruzzese (3) off, Lewis (13) on
Wales: Absalom (Cardiff City); Coxe (Cardiff City), Abbruzzesse (Cardiff City), Ovenden(Brighton), Williams (Cardiff City); Harrington (Everto)(Capt), McNulty(Bristol City); Chilekwa (Bristol City), Broadhead (Everton), Mwamuka (TNS);Roberts (West Brom)
Subs:Williams (Bury), Lewis (Swansea City), Keating (Peterborough Utd), J. Evans(Swansea City), K.Evans (Swansea City), Leak (Wolves), Cullen (Swansea City).
Scotland:Robby McRorie (Rangers); Lyon(Rangers), Higgins(Celtic), Jones(Hearts),Harvie(Aberdeen); Heaney(Newcastle Utd), McKirdy(Hearts), Hill(Celtic); Miller(Celtic),Coote(Dundee Utd), O’Hara(Forth Valley)
Subs:Doohan(Celtic), Ross McRorie(Rangers), Ross(Aberdeen), Gilmour(Arsenal), Laws(Fortuna Dusseldorf), Archibald(Celtic), Norris(Aberdeen)