When Ikechi Anya and Matt Ritchie scored their goals in Scotland’s recent friendlies it elevated them from something like 115th equal top goalscorer for Scotland from 155th give or take a digit or two.
With two goals they shared company with the likes of Aberdeen foursome Joe Harper, Duncan Shearer, Mark McGhee and Eoin Jess and Motherwell legend Willie Pettigrew. A couple of gingers with prime doubles; Chris Burke in the Kirin Cup game against Bulgaria and David Hopkin a fine double against Belarus up at Pittodrie.
Then there was former Manager Willie Ormond, Big Jim Holton and Off the Ball legend Tommy Ring of Clyde. Derek Johnstone who also only scored two goals, although both just before the World Cup in Argentina, one each against Wales and Northern Ireland in the Home Internationals. Brian McClair scored two as long as you don’t count his deflected effort against C.I.S. in the 1992 Euros as an own goal.
Finally in the current squad Ross McCormack and Charlie Mulgrew have two each. Of course there’s a whole wad of others but we can only list so many.
So now they are both up to three and there is some exalted company up on those heady heights. I must mention Henry Morris of East Fife who scored a hat-trick in his only game in the dark blue of Scotland in 1949 and was never picked again. Then, there is three Lisbon Lions among those with three; Stevie Chalmers, Bobby Lennox and Billy McNeill. From the other side of the Old Firm, Jim Baxter, John Greig and Barry Ferguson. That big diddy Alan McInally hit three as well and unfortunately two were right before our opening tie in the Italia ’90 World Cup which prompted Andy Roxburgh to pick him. Leeds legend Eddie Gray and absolute Leeds and Scotland legend Billy Bremner too. Another fearless captain Colin Hendry also hit three in his time.
The tragic John White also scored three as well as Arsenal’s George Graham, Man. United’s David Herd, Paul Sturrock of the Tangerines and Craig Burley too.
Current players Jordan Rhodes, Robert Snodgrass and Chrstophe Berra also have three goals.
Here’s hoping Ikechi and Matt soon join the rarefied air of four goals and into the top one hundred to sit alongside Souness, McAllister, Hartford, Lorimer, Scott Brown and others.