Scotland's winless run continues after home defeat to Northern Ireland

Steve Clarke's side are now without a win in their last seven games.

Scotland’s winless run continues after home defeat to Northern Ireland SNS Group

Scotland have been beaten 1-0 by Northern Ireland in their friendly at Hampden, with the national team’s winless run now extended to seven games.

Conor Bradley scored the only goal of the game, pouncing on a mistake by Nathan Patterson before hitting a shot that took a nick off Jack Hendry and arcing past Angus Gunn and into the top corner of the net.

The result comes days after Steve Clarke’s side lost 4-0 to the Netherlands in Amsterdam and leaves questions about the team’s form with only two more friendlies to play before this summer’s European Championships.

Clarke has spoken before the match about the importance of a win to start to build momentum towards June, and he had only made two changes from the side that had performed well for the majority of the match against the Dutch. Liam Cooper and Lyndon Dykes came in for Ryan Porteous and Lawrence Shankland.

The response the manager was looking for didn’t materialise and Scotland struggled to find any fluidity in the first half. After Bradley’s goal there was further concern when captain Andy Robertson was forced off with an ankle injury.

Shea Charles went close to doubling the visitors’ lead and Scott McTominay put an effort wide before the break. Boos accompanied the players off the field at half-time.

After the restart things were little better, with Scotland showing plenty effort but unable to fashion clear chances.

Cooper headed wide from a John McGinn free-kick just after the hour mark but there was little to get the home fans excited.

A raft of substitutions failed to inspire a major change, though Lawrence Shankland had an effort blocked and sent a header over the bar after his introduction.

The equaliser Scotland were striving for never came and Northern Ireland celebrated a first win at Hampden in almost 50 years.

Scotland’s players will now return to their clubs after a disappointing international break, knowing that performances and results will have to improve quickly when they next meet for friendlies against Gibraltar and Finland in the weeks before Euro 2024.

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