11th September – Today In Our Footballing History

11/09/1991 Landskrona (Sweden) Faroe Islands 5-0 Kevin Wilson, Colin Clarke (3 (1 pen)), Alan McDonald

Tommy Wright, Mal Donaghy, Steve Morrow, Gerry Taggart, Alan McDonald, Jim Magilton, Robbie Dennison, Kevin Wilson (Stephen McBride), Iain Dowie, Colin Clarke, Kingsley Black (Michael O’Neill)

Still Northern Ireland’s biggest ever away win and a totally different match to the previous meeting with the Faroe Islands only a few month previous at Windsor Park, when the bobble –hat wearing goalkeeper Martin Knudsen and teammates held Northern Ireland to a score draw in one of their first ever competitive international matches.

Another landmark from the outcome of this game was Colin Clarke’s hat-trick which brought his international goal count to 12 (in 31 caps – equalling Joe Bambrick and Gerry Armstrong) leaving Colin only 1 goal behind the then international record of 13 goals held by Billy Gillespie. Colin would have to wait almost exactly a year later to become Northern Ireland’s joint top scorer when he scored the only goal against Albania at Windsor Park on the 9th September 1992. The record would be held for 12 years when David Healy overtook both Colin and Billy in 2004.

This game was played in Landskrona, Sweden because there was no suitable surface on the Faroe Islands which met FIFA’s pitch criteria to host a competitive international fixture. Due to this the attendance was a meagre 1,623 but the Northern Irish media were more concerned with the final result after the embarrassment of the home draw.

It took Northern Ireland only 7 minutes to open the scoring when the late Alan McDonald back-headed a Kingsley Black corner towards goal which was cleared off the line only for Kevin Wilson to knock the ball into the net.

On 12 minutes Iain Dowie passed to Kingsley Black on the wing who sent in an accurate cross onto the head of the unmarked Colin Clarke who scored easily with no challenge from any Faroe’s player.

Northern Ireland’s third goal came soon after on 15 minutes when a Robbie Dennison free-kick found Iain Dowie’s head who subsequently found Alan McDonald. McDonald hit the ball on the volley past goalkeeper Knudsen to score his second international goal.

Like the first game between these two sides in Belfast the Faroe’s goalkeeper pulled off a number of saves including one from an Iain Dowie header which was destined for the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.

The score remained 3-0 to Northern Ireland until the second half when on 48 minutes Dowie crossed the ball to the far post where Robbie Dennison waited to knock the ball to Colin Clarke who subsequently scored his second goal of the game.

The fifth and final goal came on 67 minutes, Dowie with a long ball pass to Gerry Taggart who looped a header towards goal when Allan Morkore used his hands to prevent a certain goal. Morkore was subsequently shown a straight red card for deliberately preventing a goal. Coli Clarke stepped up to take the penalty to complete his hat-trick a rarity for a Northern Irish player. Clarke blasted the ball into the net to round off a resounding win for Northern Ireland and make some amends for the previous poor result.

Author: Killultagh

Source: Belfast Telegraph Scan courtesy of Roy Cathcart

Source: Belfast Telegraph
Scan courtesy of Roy Cathcart

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Northern Ireland Footballing Greats

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