13 Oct 2009
Scotland beat Italy 3-0 in the first of two test matches last night at Forthbank Stadium in Stirling with the help of penalty corner specialist Mark Ralph.
?Two penalty corners were put in by Mark Ralph and an open play goal by Chris Grassick,? explained Manager Dave Reid. ?We enjoyed longer periods of possession but at times found it difficult to break down the Italians defence.?
Mark Ralph (Glynhill Hotel Kelburne) netted his first goal with a drag-flick short corner to put the Scots up by one before half-time. After the break, the Scots put the pressure on and Alan Forsyth fired a hard shot but lofted it wide. Ralph quickly followed up to score his second goal with a similar drag-flick routine. Chris Grassick (Inverleith) completed Scotland?s scoring moments before the whistle after sweeping the left-hand side of the pitch to rocket a shot across the goal and into the top corner of the net.
?The boys experienced a different game last night compared to playing Ireland last week. We got to see what opportunities we can make with more possession,? added Reid. ?This is an inexperienced group, not so much as individual players but as a team. They are really starting to develop an understanding of each other and of what Russell (Coach Russell Garcia) expects of them. Things are moving in the right direction.?
Scotland lost two and drew one against Ireland earlier this month and face their second test match against Italy tonight again at Forthbank Stadium at 20:00.
Recent matches are part of Scotland?s build up programme for the World Cup qualifier in Invercargill, New Zealand 7-15 November where they compete against China, Malaysia, Austria, Wales and New Zealand.