SCOTLAND: Leighton, Weir, Boyd, Calderwood (Donnelly 57min), Hendry, Davidson, Gallacher (Jackson 18min), McKinlay, McCoist (Dodds 69min), Durrant, Johnston.
Scorers: Dodds (70, 85 mins), Hohlov-Simson (o.g. 80)
ESTONIA: Poom, Hohlov-Simson, Kirs, Rooba, Reim, Alonen, Smirnov, Terehhov, Kristal, Oper, Zelinski (Viikmae 88min)
Scorers: Hohlov-Simson (35), Smirnov (76)
Referee: J Marques (Portugal).
A superb pre-match swallae at the Caley Brewery set the hard core up for an enjoyable game. Joking about how many would be stuffed past Estonia during the 10 minute to the stadium was confident and assured. Little did we know that the Scotland team wouldn't be. We were to witness what must be the most lacklustre Scotland performance in years and were more than lucky to emerge with any points at all from the encounter - least of all, all three.
Granted, there were some fresh new faces in the side in Ferguson and Johnston but the inexplicable recall of 36 year old Ally McCoist more than counter-acted that! The equally inexplicable entry to the field in the second half of DARREN JACKSON! - arguably the biggest world cup flop we had on display. Many think he should never have been allowed nesar a Scotland jersey again and he did little to prove them wrong.
Estonia looked the better side during the first half and must have been happy to go in 1-0 up at the interval. Kevin Gallacher had been taken off early with what turned out to be a broken arm (and off course missed the following midweek game)!
The second half was not much better to start with but the eventual entry of Billy Dodds to the park on 70 minutes saw Scotland immediately equalise through him. A huge wave of relief washed through the Scotland support.
However, as we all know, following Scotland is a roller coaster ride and when the Estonians scored again to go 2-1 up 5 minutes later through the aptly named Smirnov on 76 minutes (a lot of fans were reduced to blotting out his memory with a drink of the same name after the match) it was back to square one.
Another 5 minutes later, Dodds was harrying an Estonian defender as a cross came over and forced the poor soul into making an own-goal. it was 2-2, only 5 minutes to go. Still 2-2, only 2 minutes to go. Then, up pounces Billy Dodds - 3-2 Scotland - final whistle please referee ! (it took a good 5 minutes injury time for the ref to blow for time)
Apart from the poor football, one incident marred the match. Late on in the second half, Scotland new boy Callum Davidson was head butted by the Estonian Marko Kristal who received a red card for his trouble. Davidson however had to leave the field himself for stitches and the game was played out with only ten men remaining in each side.
Another sad event after the match was the decision of Jim Leighton to announce his retirement from international football. Thanks for the memories Jim !
Men of the Match - the new lads Davidson and Johnston.