Saints’ Under-18s side were victorious in their opening match of the GF Cup in Denmark on Tuesday.
Jason Dodd’s team’s preparations for the new campaign have stepped up with their involvement in the competition which they’ve entered for the third consecutive year.
The squad arrived on Saturday and will spend a week in Scandinavia as they take on other invited teams in the tournament, most of which are represented by Under-19 age groups.
With a side largely consisting of first and second year scholars, Saints began in the perfect way thanks to a 1-0 win over HB Koge on Tuesday evening which was secured by Jake Sinclair’s 67th minute strike.
The visitors were largely on top in the first half in terms of chances with Sinclair hitting the post and strike partner Ryan Seager also making the ‘keeper work on several occasions.
Even a 20 minute break for a thunder storm couldn’t prevent Saints from making the breakthrough inside the last half hour of the game when defender Will Wood’s header picked out Sinclair, who did the rest with some neat skill and a right footed finish to draw the game’s only goal.
It wasn’t all one way traffic as their opponents came back into the game late on, with Jordan Turnbull and Tom Leggett notably denying what would have been a one on one opportunity against Chris Johns.
18s coach Dodd was also encouraged by fielding three Under-15 players during the game which was hailed as a good work-out for the squad.
“The game followed a similar pattern to the games last season,” Dodd explained.
“We had lots of chances in the first half which we couldn’t take, but we kept going and eventually got the goal.
“It’s always nice to get a win in the first game, but I would have liked us to manage the end of the match a bit better as we opened ourselves out a bit.
“We’ve trained well so far and we’re looking forward to the rest of the week where we’ve got another game on Wednesday before having a rest day in Copenhagen on Thursday.”
Saints U18s: Johns, Leggett, Wood, Turnbull, McCarthy (Mugabi 60), Reed, Flannigan (Hesketh 60), Ariybi (Rowe 65), Chappe (Simms 56), Sinclair, Seager (Gallagher 60).