The Celtic full-back attacked a back-post cross from Stuart Armstrong to put his side 1-0 up in the 28th minute as Steve Clarke’s men ultimately strolled to a 2-0 win over Nations League opponents Armenia with Scott McKenna getting the second.
It was just the second appearance for the 23-year-old who has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last year, going from an outcast at Celtic to a Scotland hero.
“It felt amazing,” he told Premier Sports after the victory. “To get my first start and my first goal, all in a oner, it’s hard to take in but I enjoyed every minute of it. It was an amazing experience.
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“It’s something that will live with me forever, standing singing the national anthem. It was a very proud moment for myself, for my wee girl, my family was all here.
“For the goal I just tried to get myself in at the back post. From the angle I was at I wasn’t sure it was going in, but then I saw it hit the net.
“It’s every kid’s dream to play for your country, to score for your country. To be able to say I’ve done that is pretty special.”
The result was the response Scotland needed after last week’s disappointing 3-1 World Cup play-off exit to Ukraine as they made a positive start to their next campaign.
“These things happen in football,” reflected Ralston. “We regrouped, got back on the training pitch and put it right tonight.”