The Under-21s earned their second win of the season with a one goal success on Tyneside.
Martin Hunter’s men maintained their unbeaten start to the season thanks to the victory at Whitley Park, in a game which also marked the return to competitive action for midfielder Jack Cork, who had missed the opening month of the campaign with an ankle injury.
Cork was the only ‘over-age’ player involved for Saints in this game and he came through the full 90 minutes as he nears full fitness.
In a goalless first half, the visitors came through a tough test from a direct home side with windy conditions not helping matters as few opportunities arrived for both sides.
However, the breakthrough goal came just five minutes into the second period when Sam MCQUEEN put the visitors in front with a well-crafted goal which he put the finishing touches to with a rising left footed strike that flew into the top corner to give Saints the lead.
There were chances to increase that advantage, but recording a clean sheet at the other end was equally pleasing for 21s coach Hunter who praised the teamwork of his side.
“All of our players acquitted themselves well,” he said after the game.
“Defensively that was the most disciplined and solid performance we’ve had, and to come a long way from home up to the North East and be coming back with a win is very, very pleasing.
“We had enough chances in both halves to win the game through the two Sams, Jack Cork and Sincy whilst Alberto (Seidi) was also lively when he came on, but it was a pleasing end to the game where we managed it much better.
“It was a big improvement from us and this match has set the benchmark now for us to keep aspiring for more of the same.
“We’ve taken eight points from four games now and I’m pleased that we’ve got the clean sheet that we were striving for thanks to some outstanding work both individually and as a team.”
Saints U21s: Cody Cropper, Calum Chambers, Jack Stephens, Jordan Turnbull, Ben Reeves, Andy Robinson, Jake Sinclair (Alberto Seidi 83), Jack Cork, Joe Curtis, Sam Hoskins, Sam McQueen. Subs (not used): Chris Johns, Matt Young, Corby Moore.