Andy Hautala, the Division's top scorer last season, opens the scoring against speccy's saints.

Athletic got the new league campaign off to a flier with a 2-0 away win over speccy’s saints this afternoon. A first half Andy Hautala strike was followed late in the second by one from Paul O’Healihy to secure the points.

Commenting afterwards, Arjen said, “We surrendered a lot of possession to saints, however the fact that we limited them to one chance in the whole game whilst we converted both of ours shows just how compact a unit we have become”.

“We were excellent from front to back and I think we merited the win”, he added. “We won’t be allowing this win to go to our heads however, as having given ourselves a superb platform to build upon, it would be criminal for us to squander it by dropping careless points”.

With both sides setting up 3-5-2, this match was always going to be a war of attrition, however it was the home team who took control in the early stages.

Senach MacRain had an excellent opportunity to open the scoring with twenty-two minutes on the clock, but blazed the shot wildly over; a miss that was to prove costly.

Despite the home team having the lions share of possession Brook Street were by no means on the back foot, and just after the half hour mark, it was the visitors who opened the scoring to stun the vociferous home support.

Ironically, it was some slack passing that provided Nemanja Janković with the opportunity to break forward before cutting the ball back to the onrushing Andy Hautala who slammed the ball home.

Saints, came out after the break with renewed vigour but Athletic’s back line were not about to give up a clean sheet, and easily dealt with anything the home side threw at them.

The home side had clearly run out of ideas, but things were about to get a whole lot worse for them with only six minutes left as they pushed forward looking for the equaliser.

Yet another slack pass from saints was fed out to second half substitute Vítor Leocádio who raced up the wing before unleashing a viciously curving drive which broke back off a full back right into the path of Paul O’Healihy who, unmarked in front of goal, had all the time in the world to pick his spot and secure the points.

Cue boos from, and a mass exodus of, the home support as the team who had played in the Third Division last season found out, as Brook Street had last season, that promotion from this league at the first attempt might be a harder prospect than initially thought.

However, the large number of fans who had made the trip down from Angus were in euphoric mood. On many occasions they have been frustrated by Athletic’s inability to do things “the easy way”, however this afternoon, any such thoughts were banished as their favourites produced a competent and controlled display to send the bookmakers rushing to slash the odds of a Brook Street title this season.