Festy Ebosele was delighted to score his first-ever professional goal in Derby County’s 1-1 draw at Millwall on Saturday.
The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international fired Derby in front with 44 minutes on the clock at The Den after being set up by skipper Tom Lawrence.
Ebosele’s goal was unfortunately cancelled out by former Ram Scott Malone a few minutes later as the spoils were shared in the Sky Bet Championship fixture in South London.
Derby had to play the final half an hour with ten men after defender Nathan Byrne saw red for two bookable offences, but Wayne Rooney’s side stood firm to pick up a point on the road.
Ebosele, 19, has made the step up to the first team fold in recent months and Rooney has stated his belief that his pace and power can be an asset to the team from an offensive point of view.
The youngster featured for the Rams at Academy level mainly as a full-back but the vast majority of his 14 appearances at first-team level have come further up the pitch.
After netting the first goal of his career, Ebosele was pleased to play his part in Derby picking up a point of their travels.
“I’m very proud,” Ebosele told RamsTV after the game. “I just want to say all glory to God and thank our captain Tom Lawrence because he could have hit the shot himself, but he played me a beautiful ball and I’m over the moon with the goal..
“I thought he was going to shoot initially but he played me in and it’s the happiest moment of my career so far.
“I just started running everywhere but then the lads were telling me to calm down because the game was still going on!”
On Millwall’s quickfire equaliser, Ebosele added: “It was frustrating, but that happens in football. It was a counter-attack and they were through on goal very quickly.”
Ebosele was of the opinion that the Rams displayed their togetherness and character throughout the 90 minutes and even more so when Byrne was dismissed.
Derby had lost their previous two league games, against Blackburn Rovers and Barnsley in back-to-back defeats for the first time this season, and the teenager felt the side offered an encouraging response on the pitch.
“It’s not nice going down to ten men but we always work on different scenarios in training if we lose a player or go a man up,” he said.
“When you’re a player down that’s when you really have to dig in and fight for everything and run everywhere; that’s what we did.
“We were covering for each other and it was brilliant to see. We did really well defensively and took a well-earned point home today.
“We went back to playing the way we can play in terms of our performance, creating chances and that’s what the gaffer asked us to do.”
He added: “After coming into this match with two losses, a draw is good. It gives us momentum for when we come back after the international break.”
Derby were backed by over 1,600 supporters at The Den and Ebosele was full of praise for their backing in the capital.
“I absolutely love our fans,” he said.
“They are always behind us, win or lose and with everything going on, they are always behind us so I want to say thank you to the fans.”Derby’s next game following the latest international break will see them host AFC Bournemouth at Pride Park Stadium on Sunday 21st November (12pm kick-off).