A CLASSY display by Connor Thompson of Cirencester Town was not enough to keep England Schools U18s in the running for the Centenary Shield on Thursday night.

England went down to a solitary goal from Scotland in the 87th minute at the Tulloch Caledonian ground of Scottish Premier League side Inverness Caledonian Thistle. It left Scotland as joint winners of the trophy with Northern Ireland.

Cirencester College winger Thompson was one of three England players to hit the woodwork – in his case the crossbar from a dipping 45-yard free kick – but it was not to be their night.

The 18-year old from West Swindon showed good touch and pace throughout and an exciting ability to go past players.

He helped set up England’s best chance in the second half when, after outpacing three Scotland defenders, he fed Fabio De Abreu in the box and the striker’s cross found Jack Sherratt, who headed wide when he had time to bring the ball down and finish more calmly.

With England looking for a late equaliser, they were caught on the break with three minutes remaining. The excellent Hartpury right back Tom Boakye was stranded upfield and centre back Jamie Summers was caught out of position as a cross came in from the right. The diminutive Thompson, back helping out in defence, tried to head the ball out of the danger area but, at full stretch, he flicked it instead into the path of Michael Scott, whose driven cross was side-footed home by second half substitute Stuart Love.

“Personally, I thought we did well and I am gutted we lost,” said Thompson.

“After the game I was approached by three Scottish scouts, including from Aberdeen and Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who asked about my plans for next season, but it is still my intention to take up my place at university in the States.”

England finish their Centenary Shield campaign away to the Republic of Ireland at Shamrock Rovers’ ground on April 28, which is again to be televised live on Sky.