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Page last updated at 19:15 GMT, Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Wednesday football as it happened

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

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By Clive Lindsay

All the latest football scores

2147: Good evening from me and please feel free to continue the debate on My Sport and join us again on Saturday for action from five Scottish Premier League matches.

2143: Well, thanks for your company on a night of joy for fans of Scotland and St Johnstone and of disappointment for the followers of Northern Ireland and Partick Thistle. Scotland coach Craig Levein will leave Dublin on a high knowing that, even without influential players like captain Darren Fletcher, his side is gelling into an exciting unit. For Nigel Worthington, it is a night when he will have realised that his Northern Ireland charges find it difficult to compete minus some of their best players.

2118: "Why not bring on the other five subs to "earn" their caps? Remember when getting a cap actually meant something" From I am not as think as you drunk I am on My Sport.


2139: So it is St Johnstone who go through to the quarter-finals and the Scottish Premier League side will make the reasonably short trip to face Brechin City, the Second Division outfit making their first-ever appearance at that stage of the Scottish Cup.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
2138: FULL-TIME St Johnstone 2-0 Partick Thistle

2135: Billy Dodds is perhaps being a bit unfair on Northern Ireland there considering they Nigel Worthington's side have had some decent results recently. Admittedly, you have to take into account that the Northern Irish were without some of their more experienced players, but Scotland were pretty impressive. Apparently, as I haven't counted them myself, there were 15 passes before that third goal.

"There is not a failure in the Scotland side. Everything came together for Scotland. I know it was not the greatest opposition, but I think they can take this forward" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

Full time
FULL-TIME: Scotland 3-0 Northern Ireland

2131: The game in Dublin has long petered out as a contest, but Scotland are still probing for yet another goal.

2128: Danny Wilson is the latest Scottish substitution and the Liverpool defender comes on for a pretty meaningless last few minutes in place of captain Kenny Miller.

2123: Just as Billy Dodds was suggesting that Northern Ireland were looking exhausted, they create and miss their best chance of the night. However, Rory Patterson heads straight at goalkeeper Allan McGregor when found unmarked 14 yards out.

"Scotland have kept up the tempo and that is the one thing that will be pleasing Craig Levein. They are keeping up the pressure and Northern Ireland are out on their feet" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

2120: Jonny Tuffey again prevents Scotland stretching their lead as the goalkeeper turns a wickedly dipping and curling free-kick from Barry Bannan over the crossbar. And, from the corner, Robert Snodgrass sends a drive flashing across the Northern Ireland goalmouth.

2120: Another new cap for Scotland, with Aberdeen striker Chris Maguire replacing James Morrison.

2118: "Scotland score three...This is like being back in the 70s...." From bringthemonjpn on My Sport.

2114: Am I the only one who thinks that all these substitutions devalue the competitive element of the Carling Nations Cup?

2112: Liam Boyce replaces Niall McGinn for Northern Ireland, while Craig Conway comes on for Kris Commons on the Scotland wing.

"Thistle will just rue that miss. It was a magnificent opportunity" BBC Radio Scotland commentator Jim Spence

2108: Scotland go close again with a Mark Wilson cross that spins off a defender and strikes the outside of the post.

2107: Paul Cairney bears down on the St Johnstone goal, rounds the goalkeeper but does not get his shot away and the chance is gone. A great opportunity for Partick Thistle to get back into the match.

2106: Northern Ireland captain Stephen Craigan makes a sad exit, with a player he has been tipping as a new star for his country, Adam Thompson, replacing him in central defence. Having watched the replays, there was an unfortunate deflection off Craigan before Kenny Miller struck the opening goal. The Motherwell man has been unlucky with those at times and now there are suggestions that he has come off with an injury.

2103: Leeds United forward Robert Snodgrass looks hungry for a debut Scotland goal and curls a left-foot drive a few feet over the Northern Ireland crossbar from all of 20 yards.

2102: The ball falls invitingly to Liam Craig around 30 yards out and the St Johnstone substitute blasts a dipping volley into the net. Superb goal.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
GOAL: St Johnstone 2-0 Partick Thistle (Craig)

2059: Partick Thistle goalkeeper Scott Fox is quick off his line to block at the feet of Collin Samuel as St Johnstone threaten at a corner.

2058: Scotland coach Craig Levein withdraws three of his top performers, with Barry Bannan coming on for Charlie Adam, Mark Wilson for Phil Bardsley and Robert Snodgrass for Steven Naismith. That means first caps for Wilson and Snodgrass. Northern Ireland also make a change, with Oliver Norwood replacing Steven Davis.

2055: The guys on BBC Radio Scotland are now contemplating another goal in Dublin as it would put Craig Levein's side top of the Carling Nations Cup table after the Republic of Ireland's 3-0 win over Wales last night. Meanwhile, Scotland are about to introduce three subs.

Are we watching Brazil here with all these consecutive passes that have just led to Scotland's latest goal? James McArthur, scorer of Scotland's second, slips the ball to Steven Naismith and his first-time flick finds Kris Commons to tuck the ball past goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey to surely put the game beyond Northern Ireland.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
2051: Scotland 3-0 Northern Ireland (Commons)

2049: St Johnstone have made a change at the break with Liam Craig replacing Cleveland Taylor as the second-half kicks-off in Perth.

2050: The heavens are continuing to open in Dublin, but so far Northern Ireland are not raining on the Scots' parade.

2048: We're just about to get back underway at McDiarmid Park and BBC Radio Scotland commentator Jim Spence has spotted Aberdeen management team Craig Brown and Archie Knox and Kilmarnock boss Mixu Paatelianen in the crowd.

2045: The game kicks-off again in Dublin with two changes to the Northern Ireland side. Striker David Healy has come on for midfielder Grant McCann, while Rory McArdle has been replaced with Lee Hodson in defence as Nigel Worthington looks to be more positive.

"We are very quick to criticise in recent seasons, but I think Scotland have been absolutely excellent in that first half. It is not just about the goals but the way they are playing and working as a unit to stop Northern Ireland creating any chances. There has been a lot of good football" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Gordon Smith

Half time
2033: HALF-TIME St Johnstone 1-0 Partick Thistle

2030: Cleveland Taylor drives in a cross and Murray Davidson sticks out his left foot to stab the ball home to put St Johnstone into the lead against their First Division opponents.

Half time
HALF-TIME: Scotland 2-0 Northern Ireland

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
2028: GOAL St Johnstone 1-0 Partick Thistle (Davidson)

2027: St Johnstone's Collin Samuel steals the ball from his marker and fires in a shot that Scott Fox touches on to the post. The first real sniff of a goal for either side in Perth.

2027: Steven Naismith sets up his former Rangers team-mate, Alan Hutton, with a fine ball into the box, but the ball just runs too far ahead of the Tottenham full-back, who pokes the ball wide under pressure from advancing goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey.

"Partick Thistle will be quite delighted. They've coped very well so far" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Allan Preston at McDiarmid Park

2024: The Northern Ireland defence is exposed again as crosses find Kenny Miller, who can't get enough on the ball to test the goalkeeper, then James McArthur, whose header is saved by goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey.

"Nothern Ireland are looking all over the place - ragged - and some of Charlie Adam's passes, his range, are world class" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

2020: Northern Ireland have Jonny Tuffey to thank for not going three goals behind. Left-back Phil Bardsley turns on to his more natural right foot and sends in a drive from the edge of the box that the goalkeeper turns over the crossbar at full stretch.

2019: That goal will be compared to Kris Commons' for Celtic against Aberdeen the other day. But, whereas the former Derby winger insisted that he meant it, the look on James McArthur's face suggests he will admit there was a touch of fortune with this one.

2016: James McArthur, earning only his second cap, scores in his first start for Scotland to extend the lead in Dublin, but it looks like a bit of a fluke. The Wigan midfielder looks to be aiming for a team-mate at the back post with his chip, but it dips over goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey and nestles into the back of the net.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
GOAL: Scotland 2-0 Northern Ireland (James McArthur)

2012: St Johnstone forward Collin Samuel thrashes a shot wide of goal. It was never going to trouble Partick Thistle goalkeeper Scott Fox, but at least it's an effort at goal.

"So far, so good for Scotland in knowing when to drop the pace and then up it" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

2012: Scotland's midfield are closing down their opponents well and forcing them into mistakes. Northern Ireland started the better, but it is the Scots who are now in the ascendency.

2010: Phil Bardsley is combining well with Kris Commons down the Scottish left and the Sunderland's defender's ball into the box is volleyed towards goal by the Celtic winger only for his strike to be cleared off the body of a defender.

"It's a nervous game. Neither team is really creating any chances. The game's just being played in midfield" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Allan Preston at McDiarmid Park

2008: Another Charlie Adam corner causes problems for the Northern Ireland defence and Steven Caldwell's header skims off the top of the crossbar.

2007: Refresh your page if you have noticed that I gave the goal to Charlie Adam instead of Kenny Miller in my excitement!

2003: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently said that Charlie Adam's corners are worth £10m on their own and it is the Blackpool midfielder's cross that leads to the opening goal. The ball ricochets off Rory McArdle towards his own goal and Kenny Miller sweeps the ball into the net from close range.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
GOAL: Scotland 1-0 Northern Ireland (Kenny Miller)

2000: BBC Radio Scotland pundit Allan Preston says the McDiarmid Park pitch, which has been subjected to rain and snow in recent days, is starting to cut up, meaning the play will probably descend to back to front.

2000: There's an injury concern for St Johnstone. Danny Grainger seems to have taken a knock to the knee and is moving with some discomfort.

2000: There was a crowd of less than 20,000 for the Republic's win over Wales, despite a trophy being up for grabs. It is thought that about half that is watching this game, but both sets of fans are making a fair noise.

1957: Kenny Miller, who has been in goalscoring form since his move to Bursaspor, squanders a great chance for the Scots. The striker is found by Kris Commons' low cross, but he side-foots the ball several yards over from 16 yards.

1955: We're still waiting for a clear-cut chance at McDiarmid Park, but both sides are certainly up for this long-awaited Cup tie.

1955: Craig Levein's Scots are looking to build on their 3-0 friendly win over the Faroe Islands in November, a match that followed a heartening performance, albeit in a 3-2 defeat, against world champions Spain a month earlier. Nigel Worthington's squad, whose last game was a 1-1 draw with Morocco in November, has been ravaged by injuries, so this game gives a few fringe players the chance to impress.

1953: Northern Ireland force the first save of the game and it is two Celtic wingers who create the opening. Paddy McCourt slips a lovely ball behind the Scottish defence and Niall McGinn's low drive from 15 yards is saved by Allan McGregor at his near post.

"Derek McInnes is a bit anxious about the way his team has started. He wants more from them. It's been a very positive start by Partick Thistle" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Allan Preston

1949: Northern Ireland goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey comes close to conceding a comical opening goal, blasting the ball against the in-rushing Kris Commons. But the Inverness Caledonian Thistle man is lucky when the ball spins back into his arms.

1947: Kick-off at McDiarmid Park is a couple of minutes behind, but the game has now started in Perth.

1946: Northern Ireland are first to theaten, with Celtic winger Niall McGinn sending a low cross flashing across the Scotland penalty box.

1945: BBC Radio Scotland commentator John Barnes has just pointed out that neither of these nations do friendlies. Scotland have won two in nine, while their opponents have won none in their last 10.

1945: The match is kicked off in Dublin with Northern Ireland in their traditional green but with dark shorts and Scotland in their usual navy and white.

1944: It is the first time the two sides have met since a 0-0 draw at Hampden Park in Glasgow in August 2008. Northern Ireland won the last Home Championship in 1984, although it may be a stretch to say they go into the Dublin clash with the Scots as reigning champions.

1943: This match-up in Dublin is the second game in the new British Isles tournament (still minus England), with hosts Republic of Ireland disposing of Wales 3-0 on Tuesday.

1941: That was a rather unusual oompah version of "Flower of Scotland".

TEAMS: Northern Ireland: Tuffey, McArdle, Baird, McAuley, Craigan, McCourt, Evans, Davis, McCann, McGinn, Patterson. Subs: Blayney, Hodson, Thompson, Healy, Boyce, Norwood. Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Steven Caldwell, Berra, Bardsley, Morrison, Adam, Commons, McArthur, Naismith, Miller. Subs: Bell, Danny Wilson, Bannan, Mark Wilson, Conway, Hanley, Maguire, Snodgrass, Gary Caldwell.

1938: Motherwell defender Stephen Craigan will captain the Northern Ireland side.

1937: The national anthems are playing in a rather ghostly stadium in Dublin, with a few customary whistles ringing out for "God Save the Queen".

"All the managers and all the associations are looking to win. Looking forward to a great game in a fantastic stadium. From our point of view to have six players from the Scottish Premier League is great, so the banter should be good out there. We have lost players with a wealth of experience, but sometimes you find a few nuggets" Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington

"I think I have made it obvious that I am excited by the potential of the players - not just the players here but the ones who have not made it this time. I have not taken too many chances in terms of new caps as I feel that we don't have too much cap experience on there as it is. Firstly, we want to win the competition and secondly to work with the guys again" Scotland coach Craig Levein

1931: The Scottish Cup tie at McDiarmid Park goes ahead at the third time of asking after two postponements. That is despite a downpour that followed a lunchtime pitch inspection. The winners face Brechin City in the quarter-finals.

TEAMS: St Johnstone: Enckelman, MacKay, Anderson, Duberry, Grainger, Millar, Davidson, Morris, Taylor, May, Samuel. Subs: Smith, Caddis, Craig, MacDonald, Parkin. Partick: Fox, Paton, Kinniburgh, Archibald, Boyle, Cairney, Flannigan, Bryan Hodge, Rowson, Erskine, Grehan. Subs: Halliwell, Campbell, Robertson, Fraser, Donnelly. Referee: Iain Brines

1929: Fulham's Chris Baird starts at left-back for Northern Ireland, with Rory McArdle of Aberdeen at right-back.

1926: Nigel Worthington's Northern Ireland squad, whose last game was a 1-1 draw with Morocco in November, has been ravaged by injuries, so the opener gives a few fringe players the chance to impress. Sunderland defender George McCartney announced his international retirement at just 29 this week, while Jonny Evans and Warren Feeney suffered injuries in training. Aaron Hughes, Chris Brunt, Kyle Lafferty, Maik Taylor, Craig Cathcart, Sammy Clingan and Jonny Gorman were already missing.

1925: Blackburn Rovers defender Grant Hanley, Aberdeen striker Chris Maguire, Leeds United forward Robert Snodgrass and Celtic right-back Mark Wilson are all waiting in the wings hoping to win their first Scotland caps from the bench.

1924: With Craig Gordon missing through injury, Allan McGregor continues in goal for the Scots. With Gary Caldwell failing a fitness test, his brother and Wigan team-mate, Steven, partners Christophe Berra in a central defence that on paper appears to be Scotland's weakest area of the pitch.

1923: Kenny Miller, now of Bursaspor and until recently of Rangers, will captain Scotland for the first time in the absence of the injured Darren Fletcher. It remains to be seen whether he will play as a lone striker or be partnered by former Rangers team-mate Steven Naismith.

1919: Before we get started, some shock team news for Scotland. Scott Brown has withdrawn from the starting line-up with a groin injury picked up while scoring for Celtic in Sunday's 2-2 draw with Rangers. His place is taken in the Scotland midfield by Wigan's James McArthur.

1915: Welcome to the live text commentary following the action from the Carling Nations Cup match between Scotland and Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, as well as the Scottish Cup fifth-round tie between St Johnstone and Partick Thistle.



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