Eric Belford netted his first senior goal as the reserves eased to a 3-1 win over Kitakyushu Killers in Japan this morning.

Killers opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Olivér Dékány, however their lead was short-lived as Daniel Hasnaş powered home a header eight minutes later.

Yann Schories almost gave Athletic the lead with twenty-three minutes on the clock, but Vitorino Conceição in the Killers’ goal managed to turn the ball away for a corner.

Athletic went in front from the penalty spot six minutes before the break, Paul O’Healihy doing the business.

Yann Schories rattled the Killers’ crossbar two minutes after the break, however with neither side seeming able to break through again, the match settled into something of a midfield stalemate.

In the seventy-second minute, Arjen Bogaert decided to freshen up the attack and replaced Daniel Hasnaş with Eric Belford, a decision that was to pay almost immediate dividends.

Only two minutes after coming on, Eric was in the right place to fully capitalise on a defensive mix-up to slam the ball home and record his first senior strile for the club.

Yann Schories almost increased the lead two minutes later, but yet again the home keeper denied the German.

After this point the match petered out, with no further chances.

“We had a good win today without playing particularly well”, was Arjen Bogaert’s assessment. “We must start to convert our possession superiority into goals, but this is the only downside”, he said.

“Eric did really well to get his first goal for the senior team, and it will boost his confidence no end. He can now progress with that monkey off his back”.

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