Stark: Heavy loss was injustice

06 September 2013 08:46

Billy Stark insisted he could not have been happier with his Scotland Under-21s' performance against Holland despite suffering a 4-0 defeat that he labelled an injustice.

The young Scots followed their 6-0 thrashing by England with a cruel European Championship qualifying loss against a clinical Dutch side, who scored three times in nine minutes in the final quarter in Nijmegen.

But the result could have been so different if Tony Watt, Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Fraser had taken first-half chances.

Holland took the lead early in the second period through Tonny Trindade de Vilhena and the game ran away from Scotland midway through the half when they fell further behind moments after Fraser had seen a good chance saved and 17-year-old Celtic defender Stuart Findlay had headed against a Dutch post.

Luc Castaignos, Mike van der Hoorn and substitute Jesper Drost soon put the game beyond Scotland but Stark refused to be downbeat.

He said: "It was an injustice and if I evaluate the performance then I couldn't be happier. We didn't deserve that and could make a case for getting something out of the game, as ridiculous as that may sound when you look at the scoreline.

"We should have been ahead at half-time on chances made and showed a continental style of play."

Stark, whose side beat Luxembourg 3-0 in their opening fixture, added: "I couldn't have said I would have been as confident we would play as well as that. I counted six clear-cut chances and you can't say that is bad luck. But you look at the Dutch second goal and it was class finishing.

"The manner of their first goal was such a bad break as their striker takes a bad touch and it hits off Jordan McGhee and then the shot takes a deflection. Then Ryan Fraser has an unbelievable chance before Stuart Findlay heads against the post."

The former Celtic midfielder added: "I'm lifted by the performance tonight. We provided a goal threat but we just weren't clinical enough.

Source: PA