Craig in good heart for Austrian test

Scotland Under-21 4 Estonia Under-21 0
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The Independent Online
The Scotland Under-21 coach Tommy Craig must wish his team could face Estonia every week. Scotland's win yesterday was their second in Group Four of the European Championship - and both have been at the expense of the former Soviet state.

Craig knows they still need a miracle to qualify, with Belarus and Sweden vying for the top spot. But at least yesterday's victory wipes out the memory of the heavy defeat by Sweden at the end of last year and puts the squad in good heart for the match against Austria at Motherwell on Tuesday.

Scotland dominated the game in front of a near-capacity crowd of 3,223 at Forthbank Stadium, Stirling. The Scots almost took the lead after just three minutes when Alex Burke's effort beat the goalkeeper Rain Vessenberg, only for the ball to shave the outside of the post.

The Scots' pressure paid off after 23 minutes when Kevin Harper, out of favour at Hibernian, put them ahead. He showed a cool head to finish superbly after Jim Hamilton had flicked the ball into the penalty area. Aberdeen's Stephen Glass extended their lead 12 minutes later after a blunder by Vessenberg.

The keeper was beaten again two minutes into the second half with a goal that owed much to the persistence of Alex Burke. The Kilmarnock winger delivered a deep cross and Hamilton got on the end of it to head home. Russell Anderson marked an impressive display with his first goal for Scotland after 70 minutes. The Aberdeen defender hit a blistering volley from 25 yards.

SCOTLAND U21: McKenzie; Anderson, Glass (Naysmith, 76), Locke, Ritchie, McCluskey, Bagan (McCulloch, 67), Gillies, Hamilton, Harper (Young, 58), Burke. Substitutes not used: Germaine, Dods.

ESTONIA U21: Vessenberg; Lell, Anis, Nommik, Prudel (Lepa, 60), Saks, Lapp (Oun, 83), Kalde, Saviauk, Vahtramae (Sirel, 82), Allas. Substitutes not used: Kaalma, Piiroja.

Referee: L Sammut (Malta).

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