Bermuda 1 Antigua 0 Kenny Mills got his international career -- and the relaunch of Bermuda's senior programme -- off to a good start last night at Somerset when he netted the clincher in the second half.
The PHC striker, who impressed technical director Clyde Best with his goalscoring insticts, repaid Best and head coach Robert Calderon for the faith shown in him with the all-important goal in the 68th minute that separated the teams.
More important than the result, Calderon noted afterwards, was the performance of the team in their first outing on home soil in several years.
"I think any time you win a game, especially when you have been out of the competitive arena for a long time is a positive thing,'' said an obviously pleased Calderon, himself a former Bermuda captain.
"We didn't have a whole lot of time to prepare for this game so it is really a testament to the players' ability as opposed to the coaches having any real impact on this game.
"I'm really pleased with the performance. I don't know if Antigua are a great team, but they are really competitive and it was a good game, actually.'' The visitors, with only one player -- midfielder Quinton Clarke -- remaining from when these two teams last met in 1992, came running at Bermuda from the outset and caused some early problems with Kenroy Smith a threat down the right flank.
But gradually Bermuda got more into the game and towards the later stages of the first half they were well in contention. A good move in the 25th minute almost created the first goal when a quick freekick by Clifford Roberts down the flank set up Stanton Lewis whose cross was put just wide by Mills in front of goal.
Mills, Ascento Russell and Dwight Basden were working hard up front to create opening with support from Lewis, Otis Steede and Keishon Smith. The best chance of the half fell to Russell in the 38th minute when Steede's cross to the near post saw Russell miskick with his attempted side-foot.
Antigua, who only arrived late on Monday night, did not find the cooler weather conditions to their liking as some of their players wore gloves.
Despite the loss Basden to a hamstring pull early in the second half, Bermuda continued to apply the pressure as substitute Kaiwon Dill proved an adequate replacement.
Bermuda had the better of the second half chances as Dwayne Adams at the other end was enjoying a relatively quiet time.
Stanton Lewis' header at the far post was cleared off the line as Bermuda kept on the spressure. Then Kentoine Jennings was booked for a crunching tackle on Antigua captain Derrick Edwards.
Protesting that he got the ball, Jennings answered that caution by setting up the winning goal three minutes later. His cross came off a defender and Mills followed up to hit a dipping shot from 30 yards that bounced before going over the diving Elvis Anthony and in off the post.
The 20-year-old Kaiwon Dill was also lucky not to score on his debut when he pounced on a long ball upfield and lobbed it over the keeper only to see it come back off the crossbar.
Bermuda: D.Adams; S.Burgess, K.Jennings, C.Roberts, K.Roberts, K.Smith, O.Steede, S.Lewis (R.Spence 66min), K.Mills, D.Basden (Kai.Dill 52min), A.Russell (E.Weldon 82min) Antigua: E.Anthony; S.Jeffers, G.Dublin, J.Joseph (D.Merrick 80min), K.Smith (T.Charles 46min), R.Christian, D.Edwards, Q.Clarke, K.Watts (C.Whyte 46min), A.Nesbitt (R.Thomas 84min), W.Roberts.
Referee: Cal Simons Men of the match: Kenny Mills (Bermuda), Derrick Edwards (Antigua).