Farnborough 0-1 Saints XI - Report
Saints picked up a 1-0 win against Farnborough thanks to Lee Barnard's 81st minute strike.
In the team's first pre season match since arriving back from Switzerland, a squad made up of first and youth team players, included new signing Danny Butterfield, and got a strong test from the Conference South side at Cherrywood Road.
David Connolly skippered the side for a match that took a little while to warm up, as few chances were created early on, the only opportunity of note coming from Joseph Mills' swinging free kick from the right which was fumbled by the 'keeper but gathered at the second attempt.
At the other end, striker Jake King powered a header over after getting on the end of a cross from the right, but Bartosz Bialkowski was untroubled by the effort.
Connolly was busy in attack, and was unfortunate on 20 when he collected Mills' deep ball from the left and eventually got a shot away after linking up with Pulis, but was denied at the near post by Farnborough's shot stopper, Michael Jordan.
There was a break in play on half hour when Pulis suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder which required a few minutes of attention before he left the field to be replaced by Ben Reeves who slotted into the left back role, as Mills moved into the middle.
Last season's top scorer for the hosts, Dean McDonald was starting to prove his attacking threat, as he made a number of encouraging runs towards goal, but the closest he came to testing Bialkowski was a drive which went over the bar.
Saints responded with Callum McNish's glancing header from Butterfield's cross inside the last ten minutes of the half, but his effort spun wide of Jordan's goal.
In added on time, Mills was charged down as he pulled the trigger from the edge of the box, bringing an end to a competitive opening 45 minutes.
Half Time: Farnborough 0-0 Saints XI
Both managers replaced their goalkeepers at the interval with Forecast on for Bialkowski whilst Dominic Jean-Zephirin replaced Jordan in the Farnborough net.
A livelier beginning to the second period ensued as Mills fired over and McGlashan was thwarted inside the area, but play was soon broken up by a spate of substitutions from the home side as they diverted the pressure away.
On 65 Saints' energetic trialist Jermaine McGlashan landed awkwardly as he chased a loose ball and in doing so, collided with Jean-Zephirin as he darted out of his area. The winger was soon back on his feet however, as he continued to stake his claim.
Smith headed over from a corner for the hosts before they introduced a trialist from the Saints camp as Daryl McLean replaced McDonald in attack.
The visitors then made a couple changes of their own, as Aarran Racine replaced McNish and Jordace Holder-Spooner came on for McGlashan in midfield with a quarter of an hour left to play.
The long awaited breakthrough arrived on 81 minutes when Lee Barnard swiveled instinctively to lash home into the bottom left corner from 12 yards. The ball landed at the former Southend striker's feet after Racine's goalbound header from Holmes' cross was blocked.
With five minutes remaining Ryan Doble and Sam Argent replaced Connolly and Butterfield in like for like changes as Saints attempted to see the game out, which they did, relatively comfortably.
Full Time: Farnborough 0-1 Saints XI
Farnborough: Jordan (Jean-Zephirin 46), Conroy (Ciardini 62), Braham-Barrett, Wolleaston (McCollin 82), Doyle (Thomas 60), Stevens (Smith 52), McMahon, Holloway, King (Ibe 62), McDonald (McLean 69), Bubb (unknown 67).
Saints XI: Bialkowski (Forecast 46), Butterfield (Argent 85), A. Martin, Seaborne (Tafazolli 78), Mills, Holmes, McNish (Racine 71), Pulis (Reeves 32), McGlashan* (Holder-Spooner 75), Connolly (Doble 85), Barnard.
Referee: Andy Davies
Saints played in black