Northern Ireland: How they rated v Republic of Ireland

Northern Ireland's Jordan Jones on the ball but under pressure from Republic of Ireland's Conor Hourihane at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.' Pic by Pacemaker.
Northern Ireland's Jordan Jones on the ball but under pressure from Republic of Ireland's Conor Hourihane at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.' Pic by Pacemaker.

Player ratings from Northern Ireland’s friendly in Dublin against Republic of Ireland:

BAILEY PEACOCK-FARRELL - Rarely tested by a poor Republic side, but his performance still left something to be desired as his distribution was often wasteful with long balls kicked straight to the opposing team. 6/10.

JAMAL LEWIS - The Norwich left-back has been one of Northern Ireland’s most impressive performers of late but this was not his best effort. A promising attack came to nought just before the break as he missed several team-mates streaming forward with a wasteful cross. 5.

JONNY EVANS - Calm and composed as ever in the centre of defence as Northern Ireland snuffed out most things the Republic threw at them. 7.

CRAIG CATHCART - Alongside Evans he kept the Republic at bay, and even had a few chances at the other end, poking a tame shot wide when he got a sight of goal in the 23rd minute. 7.

MICHAEL SMITH - Making only his second start for Northern Ireland, Smith looked comfortable, not distracted by the pantomime booing of James McClean as he kept the Stoke man subdued, while also offering an outlet in attack and shooting narrowly over before the break. 7.

CORRY EVANS - Scrapped well in midfield to help Northern Ireland dominate possession. 6.

STEVEN DAVIS - The standout player in midfield, finding time and space on the ball and driving Northern Ireland forward with his intelligent passing. He looked a cut above. 8.

GEORGE SAVILLE - Alongside Davis, worked well in the Northern Ireland engine room, meaning they did not hugely miss the influence of Ollie Norwood. 7.

GAVIN WHYTE - Lively in his first Northern Ireland start and had the best chance of the match just 12 minutes in when through on goal, only to be denied by Randolph. His running continued to cause problems until he was replaced on the hour. 7.

STUART DALLAS - Unselfishly teed up Whyte for that early chance and sent a curling effort just wide. 6.

LIAM BOYCE - Kept his place ahead of Lafferty but though he battled hard he did not get a sight of goal. 6.

Substitutes:

JORDAN JONES (for Whyte, 60): Stole the ball of Lenihan and ran at goal but was denied by Randolph. 7.

PADDY MCNAIR (for C Evans, 64): Slotted in well for the impressive Smith. 6.

KYLE LAFFERTY (for Boyce, 70): Like Boyce, he found clear chances hard to come by. 6

JAMIE WARD (for Smith, 73): Worked hard as Northern Ireland kept pushing til the end. 6.

Plus the Republic of Ireland player ratings:

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

DARREN RANDOLPH: Made important first-half stops from Gavin Whyte and Stuart Dallas and denied substitute Jordan Jones after the break with his best save of the night. 8

SEAMUS COLEMAN: Left bleeding by an early clash of heads with Liam Boyce, he endured a quiet first half in the right wing-back role before easing himself into the game after the restart. 6

SHANE DUFFY: Guilty of an early error which ultimately handed Whyte a chance, but might have made amends with a close-range header which was tipped over by keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and was otherwise solid at the back. 6

JOHN EGAN: Turned in an accomplished defensive display in a three-man rearguard and was particularly dominant in the air. 7

DARRAGH LENIHAN: Made two potentially catastrophic errors and was rescued on both occasions by Randolph. 4

ROBBIE BRADY: Delivered a series of telling free-kicks and tried to get his side moving forward in open play. 6

GLENN WHELAN: Struggled to get into the game on his 85th appearance for his country as Northern Ireland dominated the midfield battle early on. 5

JEFF HENDRICK: As busy as ever in the middle of the field, but was once again unable to reproduce the form which made him such a hit at the Euro 2016 finals. 5

CALLUM O’DOWDA: Picked up an early knock and was rarely able to make his usual impact on the game. 6

JAMES McCLEAN: Booed by the Northern Ireland fans at every touch, McClean was as industrious as ever as he grew into a difficult game. 6

CALLUM ROBINSON: Worked hard to give the Republic an outlet, but was too often isolated, particularly before the break. 7

SUBSTITUTES

CONOR HOURIHANE (for Whelan, 36): Tried to stem the flow in midfielder, but had his work cut out. 6

RONAN CURTIS (for O’Dowda, 46): Handed his first senior cap as a half-time substitute, he gave his side fresh energy, but his influence faded as time ran down. 6

ENDA STEVENS (for McClean, 66): Contributed to a late direct assault, but to little real effect. 6

SEAN MAGUIRE (for Robinson, 66): Left the field through injury just 13 minutes after coming on and had little opportunity to make an impact. 6

SCOTT HOGAN (for Maguire, 79): Threw himself into the search for a late winner, but saw too little of the ball to make a real impression. 6

CYRUS CHRISTIE (for Lenihan, 84): Arrived with the game already stretched and had little time to force his way into it. 6