After making his Reebok Stadium debut in style with an equalising goal from all of 25 yards in Friday’s FA Youth Cup clash, first year scholar William Abbotts admitted that the game is one which he and his teammates can take confidence from for the rest of the season.
Despite the match ultimately ending in disappointment as Wanderers’ youngsters were defeated 4-3 by Sheffield United in a penalty shoot-out, the 16-year-old explained that the experience of playing in such a game is one which will stand him and his fellow scholars in good stead.
"It was absolutely amazing," he said following the final whistle. "It was such a new experience for me just to play in a stadium like that – it’s just completely different to playing up at Lostock on a Saturday afternoon.
"When I came on a substitute, it was a bit of a shock – it was a very fast paced game and it took a little while to settle in, but once I did it was such a great feeling to be out there."
With the Whites trailing to a first half Otis Khan strike and with the final whistle looming, Abbotts stunned the Blades with a superb strike from distance in the 90th minute to send the game into extra time.
A goal which came about in dramatic circumstances, the striker confessed his delight at earning Wanderers what he believes was a deserved extra 30 minutes of play against their Bramall Lane counterparts.
"There was a lot of anticipation in the build up to the equaliser – we’d worked hard throughout the game and we needed to get that goal to stand a chance.
"To get the goal itself though was fantastic – as soon as I struck the ball, I knew it was going in and when it hit the back of the net I was over the moon."
He added: "Unfortunately it counted for nothing at the end, but that’s football for you. With penalties, it can go either way and it didn’t go for us on the night."
With David Lee & Tony Kelly’s side ultimately falling at the final hurdle, Abbotts explained that the display and camaraderie shown by the club’s young guns is proof of the quality within their ranks.
"It’s definitely a result that we can take a lot of confidence from – we didn’t give up, we stuck together and in another game we’d have got a draw.
"Unfortunately with it being the cup though, somebody had to win, but we should be proud of our efforts.
"The main priority now is to take the performance from the game and push on in the league – we just need to get back into training and keep on working hard.
"We managed to get the first win of the season last weekend, so hopefully we’ll continue to get a few more points on the board."
To watch William's goal from a unique view point, click the video below.