Striker Jimmy Knowles described his first senior goal for Mansfield Town as a ‘dream come true’ after finding the net in tonight’s Leasing.com Trophy clash against Crewe Alexandra.
In only his third Stags appearance, the youngster took just 18 minutes to break the deadlock with an expertly-taken strike from the edge of the area.
This, coupled with positive all-round play, meant the Kirkby-born frontman endured a fruitful night at One Call Stadium.
And while his side were unable to take all three points, he reflected upon the goal with evident pride.
“Ever since you start playing you think about scoring your first professional goal,” Knowles told iFollow Stags.
“When I’ve been close to the first team I’ve been thinking about it all the time, really. For it to happen tonight is a dream come true.
“My family were here to watch so it was a great feeling getting a goal in front of them. Most importantly, though, it was about the team and how it helped us.
“I got it on the edge of the box, then put it in top corner but it’s come from the pressing from the team, which is what got me the ball.”
In addition, the 17-year-old spoke highly of manager John Dempster – who initially brought him into the Mansfield academy before entering his current role this summer.
“It’s encouraging to know he’s brought me into the academy and also gave me my first-team debut.
“He’s shown faith in me as I’ve started against Everton and now tonight – I think I’ve done well and I’m happy.
“He demands high standards on the training pitch, he wants to work hard and he’s a winner.
“He wants to win. I think in the dressing room we can tell that when he loses he’s not happy, and when he wins he’s satisfied but he knows he needs to keep winning.”
Knowles said that he will have to remain patient as he searches for more game time amongst the first-team squad.
“I’d like to be with the first team and just to make as many first-team appearances as possible,” he affirmed. “I want to play as much as I can and I want to score.
“We’ve just won [at Grimsby] and people are playing well. Rosey’s playing well, scoring goals but if I keep training hard with my head down then maybe the gaffer will put faith in me.
“It’s a big step up. You’ve got to be able to move the ball and be strong but I think I dealt with it quite well tonight.
“It’s very different to the under-18s. It’s very physical and they [Crewe] moved the ball well tonight, which caused us a few problems but I’m still enjoying it.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Jimmy's interview in full by heading to mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later tonight.