Wales 4 - 0 Scotland. The Robert Earnshaw show

Last updated : 19 February 2004 By Michael Morris
What a fantastic evening for Wales and a superb evening for Cardiff City's players at the Millennium Stadium.

Robert Earnshaw will grab all the headlines with a superb hat trick. Goal No.1 came on 42 seconds, right from the kick off Earnie was closing down the Scots and when they scrambled clear the ball went back to Crossley in the Wales goal, his clearance caused confusion in the Scottish midfield and when their poor clearance dropped into the Welsh midfield a smart ball over the top by Speed found Earnie racing in on goal and he made no mistake in scoring past Rob Douglas.

There was no place on the bench even for Neil Alexander, at least he can't be blamed for another Scottish implosion away from home.

Earnie could have had three in the first 10 mins, a smart shot was deflected wide for a corner and a header just cleared the bar. The Scots couldn't contain him.

Earnie's second goal owed a lot to Paul Parry. Parry played for Hereford Utd only a few weeks ago. Cardiff City's latest signing has seen his career move from the Conference to Division 1 and then after 5 games in Division 1, the last at The Hawthorns last weekend in front of Mark Hughes he got a shock call up for Wales.

When he thought he was on cloud 9 with a call up he found out he was actually Roy of the Rovers when an injury to Simon Davies in the first half saw Paul Parry become a fully fledged Welsh international.

Parry was not over-awed, his first contribution was to play a delightful ball to Ryan Giggs who crossed for Earnie get the final touch of his shoulder to see the ball into the corner of the net, 2 - 0 to Wales, both to Earnshaw.

Parry made two excellent tackles on Man Utd's winger Fletcher, both instances he tracked back and broke up dangerous positions for Scotland. Half time came and City had thee players on the pitch.

Gabbidon like Earnshaw played the full 90 mins.

Parry did everything asked of him tonight, he attacked when he had space to do so, he tackled whern needed and he played the simple effective ball when the situation called for it. Considering it was only his 6th game above conference level it's an amazing night for Paul Parry.

The headlines though belong to Robert Earnshaw. Goal No'3 will come as no surprise to City fans. He took possession in advanced midfield after a through ball by Robbie Savage and worked an opening and blasted the ball through Douglas to make it 3 - 0. The first time a Welsh player has scored a hat trick since Ian Rush in 1992.

Earnie was a pain in Scotlands arse all night, they couldn't contain him and his goals were fully deserved.

The scoring had not finished then. Paul Parry's cross set up Gareth taylor to score through the body of Douglas to make it an emphatic victory.

Scotland had chances but good defending, good organisation and some very good saves from Crossley and then Ward kept the visitors out. Can I offer a mention to the Scottish fans. They were superb in Cardiff before the game, filling the pubs with singing and humour. In the stadium they were the best away support I've seen at a Wales football game and they applauded the Wales anthem, they applauded the Wales fans and they sang for their club. Both sets of fans appreciated the efforts of each other. Even after the game they were in high spirits depite the hammering dished out to them by Wales on the pitch.

For Earnie and Parry it's back to basics on Saturdays when Sunderland come to town. More of the same please.

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