It was a night to remember on Thursday for Saint Johnstone FC as they recorded their first ever away win in Europe by claiming the prized scalp of Rosenborg BK in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League second qualifying round tie at the Lerkendal Stadion.
Beforehand few would have backed a St Johnstone side yet to start their domestic season against opponents topping the Norwegian Premier Division. However, defender Frazer Wright tore up the expected script, heading in new signing David Wotherspoon's corner in the 18th minute to earn the Scottish team a 1-0 advantage to take into the second leg in Perth next week.
"We had a plan and we worked to it and maybe could have got another goal," said goalscoring hero Wright, formerly of Kilmarnock FC and Stranraer FC. "We knew we could be disciplined and try to get a 0-0 scoreline or maybe nick a goal. It gives us a great chance. We just need to go into the second leg with the same attitude."
Participating in just their fourth European campaign, the Scottish Premier League side fell at this stage last term to Turkey's Eskişehirspor but can take real hope from their strong home record against continental opposition. They avoided defeat in all six previous European games held at their McDiarmid Park ground, including ties against Hamburger SV and AS Monaco FC, and a repeat next Thursday would be enough to send them into the third qualifying round.
New manager Thomas Wright was delighted to have won his first competitive match in charge since replacing Steve Lomas during the summer and told his players to relish the moment after victory against the ten-time UEFA Champions League group stage participants.
"It was a magnificent performance to get that result," said the Northern Irishman. "We came here with a lot of belief and the players have bought into that. That is what got us the result. From the first whistle we played some good football on the counterattack and I am so proud of the players and how they went about their business. I know we are only halfway through the tie, but you don't get nights like this very often and the players are a credit to Scottish football."