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Scotland's stand-ins and fresh faces make light work of Faroe Islands

Scotland 3

* Wilson, D 24,
* Commons 31,
* Mackie 45

Faroe Islands 0

* Ewan Murray at Pittodrie
*, Tuesday 16 November 2010 21.58 GMT
* Article history

Jamie Mackie Scotland's Jamie Mackie celebrates scoring against the Faroe Islands during their friendly in Aberdeen. Photograph: David Moir/REUTERS

The dismal level of opposition cannot be discounted, but Scotland have long since learned to be grateful for small mercies. Craig Levein enjoyed a rare night of comfort amid what has otherwise been a turbulent tenure as Scotland's manager. The Faroe Islands, whose captain cannot command a place in the Ross County team, were the ideal visitors to Pittodrie as Scotland opted for experimentation.

Nonetheless, those to whom Levein turned did not let him down. A pretty timid affair, in front of just 10,873 fans, resulted in a third international victory for Levein, who has presided over seven games. The raft of call-offs that had beset the Scotland squad in advance of this match left Levein in the position where he had to defend the very merits of the game. Yet the home manager could still field a side which contained eight starters from England's top flight. Two of them, Danny Wilson and Barry Bannan, were handed international debuts.

The Faroes' set-up is more stable, which perhaps explains their bright opening. Jann Ingi Petersen watched a 30-yard free-kick clip the Scotland crossbar within eight minutes, almost shocking the Aberdeen crowd. That fright jolted the hosts into action. Wilson marked his maiden appearance in navy blue with a goalscoring volley, having met Charlie Adam's corner. Adam was again the supplier as Scotland doubled their lead, Kris Commons this time supplying a cool, near-post finish.

Bannan showed a glimpse of why he has– prematurely, for now – been compared to more illustrious names with a fine run and shot, which struck a Faroes post 12 minutes before the interval. Bannan's next action was more meaningful, the Aston Villa midfielder crossing for Wilson, who in turn headed down to Jamie Mackie. From close-range, and on the stroke of half-time, the Queens Park Rangers man made no mistake.

Adam departed 10 minutes into the second half after appearing to twist his left knee. Wilson's exit was equally unfortunate, and also because of injury, given how few games the teenager has been permitted since leaving Rangers for Liverpool.

Shaun Maloney should have lightened the mood, but somehow contrived to shoot wide after merely the latest calamity in the Faroes defence.

Cameron Bell, Craig Bryson, David Goodwillie, Steven Saunders and James McArthur were handed first Scotland caps from the bench. Of all the debutants, the diminutive Bannan had looked the most likely to have earned himself a further chance at international level.

Sunderland's Phil Bardsley, who made only his second Scotland appearance, also impressed once again. Much stiffer tests, however, lie ahead.

Taken from the Guardian/Observer

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