Euro 2015 qualifier: N Ireland U21 1-4 Serbia U21

Milos Veljkovic and James Gray in aerial action at Shamrock Park
Milos Veljkovic and James Gray in aerial action at Shamrock Park

Northern Ireland Under-21s lost their final Euro 2015 qualifier 4-1 to Serbia at Shamrock Park on Tuesday afternoon.

The result sees Jim Magilton's charges end bottom of Group 9, with only three points from their eight matches.

It was already 4-0 when Hartlepool's on-loan Middlesbrough winger Ryan Brobbel got the hosts on the scoresheet in the 67th minute.

Aleksandar Pesic, Slavoljub Srnic (2) and Filip Kostic were the goalscorers for the Serbians.

Magilton handed out five debuts on the day - to Chris Johns, Cameron Dummigan, Jamie Harney, Aaron Burns and Michael Duffy - but a visiting side who started the day with an outside chance of topping the group proved too strong.

Home captain James Gray spurned an early chance to mark his final appearance at this level with a goal and the deadlock remained until the 34th minute when Pesic beat goalkeeper Johns.

Johns was picking the the ball out for a second time less than two minutes later as Srnic improved on an earlier miss to double the lead.

Striker Duffy failed to take the only opportunity to hit back before half-time and another quick two-goal burst after the break settled the issue.

Pesic was unlucky not to score on each occasion, hitting the woodwork in the 56th and 58th minutes to tee up Srnic's second and Kostic for the fourth.

At that stage the last half hour looked as though it would be a trial for the hosts but Brobbel salvaged something positive with his first Under-21 goal with 23 minutes to go.

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