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Scotland x England, 28/03/1931: Inspired Spell

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2021-08-25 13:05:43


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Scotland x England, 28/03/1931: Inspired Spell
Alec McNair | 30/03/1931

We old football players have always held unshakenly to the belief that good team plays better against the wind than will it.
This international afforded confirmation. I have no secrets to divulge, but as one who has been through it all it was fairly evident that the Scots were playing with a direct purpose in the first half, viz., to hold and, if posalble, to wear down the English team.
When the change of ends came and the Scots had to face the breeze they let themselves go with an enthusiasm and determination, allied to traditional Scottish dourness, which upset all the English preconceived notions of dictating how the game should mould itself.
It was this inspired twenty minutes of dashing irresistible defensive which won the match. Meiklejohn, master.
While every man in the team played his part, and played it well, the outstanding personality of the match was David Meiklejohn. It was not a spetacular display which the captain gave, but be had a job to and did it.
He reduced Dean to a commonplace level, grappled with situations which might have developed dangerously, and, by sheer concentration and resolution, set a lead to his colleagues which was infectious.
And this was the man who went Into the team by the casting vote of the chairman.
What of Danny Blair, the man who came in as a mere substitute? If ever a player showed grit and spirit to conquer it was this far-travelled, flaxen-haired laddie.
Blair's influence in throwing the English attack cut of gear was incalculable. Blair’s success had a good influence on Nibloe in so far as it induced the Kilmarnock man to go out and take risks which more often than not came off.
It must not be overlooked that Niblo had by far the cleverer wing forward to look after, and if he was beaten at times by Crooks the balance, at any rate, was not against him.
McNab gave me a pleasant surprise. He rose splendidly to the occasion, and his passes to his wing contributed largely to the Scottish period of supremacy during which the goals were scored.
While not attaining the same measure of success Miller, on the other wing, more than justified choise for his first "cap."
Surely Sandy Archibald confounded his critics. He was as strong on the run, if not quite so fast, as ever. His aim was to get the ball across without elaborating, and he did it to perfection. It was from one of his shots that the opening was made for Stevenson to score, and with a little luch he would have brought out more goals for the Scots. This was Sansy's third match against England, and he has vet to be on the losing side. Morton's compensation.
On the other wing was Alan Morton, playing his tenth match against the Saxon — the little blue devil who comes to life just when people are lamenting his football conclusion.
Inevitably Morton has not command of the pace he formerly possed. He hwas been playing in first-class football for 17 years, and times must exact a toll in some shape or form.
But Alan Morton is still a master of ball control, as he showed, particularly during Scotland's 20 minutes of ascendancy. To counteract any loss of speed he now brings into play the fruits of his long experience.
It seemed to me that Goodall got Morton on his nevers just sufficiently long to enable the Scot to take a vital part in pushing home the attack.
McPhail completely wiped out all the disappointment of his first match against England in 1927. I would say he was the best inside forward on the field. He and Stevenson were well ahead of Hodgson and Burgess, and in the centre McGrory, while subdued in the first half, opened out after the interval and had the best of his exchanges with Roberts.
McGrory plays like one who is enjoying every minute of the game, and I was pleased to see him scoring, for I know what a pride he takes in achievement.
And that is all — but, no. I had almost forgotten John Thomson. John must have wondered if this was England he was watching. Where were the demon shots of Tottenham? His job was a sinecure.
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