Brighton & Hove Albion under-18 defender Haydon Roberts was thrilled to score against the club he grew up supporting in last night’s 3-1 FA Youth Cup win over Manchester United.
Roberts headed in on the rebound to make it 3-0 after Ryan Longman’s initial effort hit the crossbar, and commented on an incredible feeling of scoring against his boyhood club.
He said, “It’s an unbelievable feeling to play against the biggest club in the world and win 3-1 at their ground. All the players played well, we’re just looking forward to the next round now.
"I thought the ball might fall to me so I just hung round the back post, it came to me and there was only going to be one outcome.
"It’s an unreal feeling because I support Man United and it’s a big moment for me to play against them, let alone scoring as well. I’m happy for myself and the boys, so to come here and go through to the next round is brilliant.”
The defender pitted his wits against highly rated England under-18 international Mason Greenwood, and Roberts relished the challenge on the night.
“I was probably playing against one of the best strikers in the world in my age, and to stop him scoring is another great achievement.
“He’s got a high profile in the game and to play well against him is a big honour, because it can only help me as a player.
“I couldn’t afford to give him time and space. I had to keep my eye on him, but also the ball as well because if you give him a chance, he’ll take it.”
The 16-year-old believes the win eclipses the dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over West Ham United in round three, given United’s standing in world football.
"Playing against the biggest club in the world and beating them is a big achievement for me and the boys. We now cannot wait for the next round.”