07th March – Today In Our Footballing History

07/03/1951 Belfast Wales 1-2 Billy Simpson

Ted Hinton, Len Graham, Willie Cunningham, Jim McCabe, Jackie Vernon, Billy Dickson, Billy Hughes, Eddie McMorran, Billy Simpson, Kevin McGarry, Norman Lockhart

As a result of this defeat to Wales Northern Ireland finished bottom of the 1950-51 British Home Championship losing all three of their matches. England would face Scotland a month later to decide who out of the two sides would win the championship. Scotland ended up defeating England 3-2 at Wembley to take the title as England had played 80 minutes with only 10 men.

For the first 30 minutes of the Northern Ireland v Wales match, Wales totally dominated the play and looked as if they would be easy victors. After scoring through Royston Clarke on 8 minutes Wales did not manage to convert superiority into further goals. The Irish had centre-half Jackie Vernon to thank for keeping Wales from scoring more as he kept tight to the Welsh forward Trevor Ford.

Only 7 minutes after the restart Northern Ireland equalised from Glasgow Rangers’ Billy Simpson who incidentally was making his senior debut for his country. For most of the remaining minutes the Irish team poked and prodded the Welsh line but failed to penetrate the excellent Arsenal Welsh defensive pairing of Raymond Daniel (centre-half) and Walley Barnes (right-back).

On the one occasion when Trevor Ford moved away from his marker Vernon to the right-wing he finally managed to beat his man to find teammate Royston Clarke who scored the winning goal for Wales with only 4 minutes left of the game.

Author: Killultagh

176

Northern Ireland Footballing Greats

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