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MATCH REPORT: Barnton 1-0 St Martins

11 weeks since the Saints league cup victory, today marked an important day in the clubs history as they played their first game in the Hallmark Security League, the highest tier of football the club has ever reached and so They took on a Barnton side which had been relegated from the Premier Division.

It was a quick start to the game and the Saints almost found themselves ahead after only 7 minutes, after some superb play between Tom Ash and Brendon Price, Ash connects with a Price pullback but his effort smashes against the woodwork and goes out for a goal kick, a great opportunity for the Saints to take the lead.

On the 20 minute mark the visitors produce another fantastic attacking move, this time Tawanda Melusi flicks the ball with the outside of his foot into the foot of Price, however the Barnton defence quickly clear the danager.

A few minutes later, the Saints win a corner, Price plays it short to Jamie Hands, a quick pass to Melusi finds him driving at the Barnton defence, after beating two players hes fouled on the edge of the box. Its Melusi who takes it, however his effort is driven low and the goalkeeper easily collects at his near post.

After some great attacking moves, the Saints find themselves defending. Barnton have ago from range however George Austin pulls off a spectacular face to push the ball over the bar to deny the home side from taking the lead.

On the verge of half time, the Saints had the ball in the back of the net. The visitors win a corner and its floated into the box, Melusi puts the ball across the line with a superb finish however hes ruled offside and the first half comes to an end goalless.

It was a slow start to the second half, with neither team creating a clear scoring opportunity. However in the 56th minute  Barnton took the lead. After the Saints winning a free kick in the opposition half, they carelessly give it away and the home attack, with the initial counter attack going out for a corner. Its from the corner they punish the visitors when they latch onto it and head it past Austin to take the lead.

10 minutes later, the Saints almost levelled the scoring, Ash drives into space in the Barnton box and pulls the ball back for Melusi, but his shot is weak and so its an easy save for the goalkeeper.

Neither side could create a clear scoring opportunity in the final minutes of the game, however Barnton went down to 10 men after their midfielder received a booking for decent, which was quickly followed by a red.

It was the home side who took the 3 points in the opening game of the season, however the Saints can come away proud of their performance in their Hallmark Security League debut, and will go into Tuesdays clash with Cammell Laird 1907 full of confidence.

Starting XI: George Austin, Matthew Walters, Calum Bennett, Jamie Hands, Jay Stoker, Joshua Parker (C), Karl Baily, Tom Ash, Tawanda Melusi, Dave Hartshorn, Brendon Price

Bench: James Durman, Callum Williams, Dan Stevens

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