Our first pre-season friendly ended in a 4-1 defeat to Steaua Bucharest at St George's Park earlier this evening.
Despite scoring first and leading the Romanian champions for over half an hour, they proved too strong over the ninety minutes.
The game got off to a dream start with Stefan Scougall opening the scoring in the third minute, the midfielder finishing beautifully from a tight angle.
After their initial wobble, Steaua settled into the game and began to enjoy the bulk of possession, forcing Darren Jamieson into a string of good saves as they tried to find an equaliser.
That equaliser eventually came in the 36th minute, but it was gifted by our trialist midfielder who laid a back pass into the path of Mihai Costea who passed the ball calmly into the net.
We looked set to go in level at the break, but Gabriel Iancu caught the otherwise outstanding Jamieson out at his near post with a curling free kick from the right side.
Richie Burke made nine changes at half time introducing Kevin Walker, Simon Mensing, Curtis Jones and Mark Burchill for their debuts along with two midfield trialists.
It took us time to settle down and Steaua took full advantage with two goals early in the second half.
Curtis Jones turned a shot from Costea past Kevin Walker for the Steaua third in the 49th minute, and Costea himself notched the fourth seven minutes later.
From there on in, we defended much better, with Mensing solid at centre back in particular.
We enjoyed sporadic attacks with youngster Kyle Lander leading the line well supported by assistant boss Burchill. Both had efforts on goal but were unable to add to Scougall's early strike.
First half: Jamieson, Mampuya, Talbot, Hastings, Fordyce, O'Brien, McDonald, Trialist, McNulty, Scougall, Downie
Second half: Walker, Donaldson, Talbot, Mensing, Jones, Beaumont, Trailist, Trialist, Lander, Burchill, Mampuya