Anton's Goal Delight

ANTON Ferdinand could not hide his delight after scoring his first West Ham United goal in the 2-1 win over Watford.

The 20-year-old Academy graduate sprinted the length of the pitch to celebrate with the Hammers faithful after his 42nd minute strike put Hammers ahead.

Anton admitted that it was a special moment, and the defender is hoping for plenty more excuses to celebrate over the coming weeks as Hammers go into a two-leg Play-off semi-final against Ipswich Town.

"It was brilliant," he exclaimed. "I've waited a while for my first goal and have come close a few times, but when it went I just couldn't bottle up my emotions.

"I wanted to celebrate with the fans, so I ran all the way back to behind our goal where they were all dancing and cheering. They've been fantastic to us this season and it was a great moment to see them all celebrating my goal with me."

Anton rounded off his celebration with a dance all his own, just a little something he's been saving for such an occasion.

"I've been working on that with some of my mates," he revealed. "It was just a dance that we made up. I'm always trying to think up different ways of celebrating goals and have been involved in a few bizarre celebrations for the other lads, so it was nice to finally be able to celebrate one of my own.

"My family were all at Vicarage Road to see it as well and that made the moment extra special."

His goal capped off anothr virtuoso display from the defender, who was ably assisted by Elliott Ward in the centre of West Ham's defence. Indeed, it was his close friend that supplied the cross for Anton's sublime finish.

"Elliott put in a great ball," said Anton. "It dropped right onto my foot and I just turned and put it away. I was pleased with my overall performance. It was a tough game. Watford are a difficult side to beat at home and the pitch wasn't the best so it made playing football pretty difficult.

"We were trying to focus on just winning our game, but we could obviously sense from the stands what was going on at Wigan. You try and block those sorts of distractions out, but it's difficult when you can hear all the West Ham fans celebrating.

"We kept our heads though, got a good win and now we'll take a lot of confidence into the Play-off semi-final first leg at Upton Park on Saturday.

"Ipswich are a very strong side, which their League position proves. But we won't be worrying about them too much this week. We've got the home crowd behind us for the first leg and we'll be focusing on going out, playing our own game and hopefully getting a lead which we can take to Portman Road."