Jay Stansfield couldn’t hide his joy after scoring his first senior goal in some style as Fulham beat Birmingham to reach the third round of the League Cup tonight.
The teenage striker, who saw his encouraging first year at Fulham cruelly curtailed by a serious ankle injury, was handed a start by Marco Silva at St. Andrew’s and responded by firing the visitors in front with a fine strike into the top corner midway through the first half. Stansfield, whose performance as the lone striker belied his tender age, told Fulham FCTV tonight:
“It was brilliant. I couldn’t asked for a better senior full debut, to be honest. Starting the game and then scoring a goal like that – I can’t explain the feeling! I made my debut two years ago now and having that time out put a halt on everything really. To be able to recover and come up here and score my first goal – there’s no better feeling than doing that.”
Stansfield revealed that Fulham’s senior players played a key part in helping the club’s young players settle on a big night, with Adrion Pajaziti also making his debut in midfield this evening.
“The boys were brilliant at helping me, Ty and Adrion, encouraging us and making us confident. I felt all the players played well, worked hard and got us the win.”
The striker paid tribute to Fulham’s category one academy that has seen several youngsters – like Tyrese Francois and Fabio Carvalho – take serious strides forward over the summer
“It’s brilliant that it’s not just you there. The pressure is not just on you when there’s a couple of academy lads there. It just shows what a good academy we have with other lads coming through. The manager giving us this opportunity on a stage like this tonight and us performing – it’s brilliant.”