Midfielder Will Smallbone described the feeling as ‘special’ after netting on his senior debut for Southampton.
The 19-year-old Academy prospect opened the scoring just moments after half-time, with fellow full debutant Jake Vokins adding a second late on to secure a 2-0 win over Huddersfield in the Emirates FA Cup third round.
Advancing into the next round, Smallbone was left to reflect on an afternoon to remember.
“It was a special moment for me to make my debut and to mark it with a goal made it even better.
“I’ve worked so hard for it to come through the Academy, so to be finally given the opportunity and to do it alongside Jake [Vokins] was special.
“All I wanted to do was celebrate in front of the fans. My mum was here, so it was special for her to see after me growing up through the Academy, with all the hours put in travelling down – it was special.”
Sharing the moment with Under-23s team-mate Vokins, the midfielder was full of praise for the full-back and has high hopes for the future.
“I was buzzing for Jake,” he said. “To come through the Academy together and for us both to score on our full debuts is special.
"Hopefully we can get a good draw in the next round and try and push on.
"The next thing for me is to hopefully make my Premier League debut."