'It is a great feeling'

Danny Purdy was only on the pitch for the final 21 minutes of the 120 it took to separate West Ham United and Plymouth Argyle this week - but it was his vital strike with 16 minutes to go that was the eventual difference between the two sides.

Purdy pounced on a defensive mistake to fire in via the inside of the post and seal the Hammers spot in the FA Youth Cup fourth round and by doing so, fulfilling a boyhood ambition of getting on the scoresheet in the competition.

"It is a great feeling," he said. "Coming over from Ireland, playing in the Youth Cup was always something to look forward to. Before I came over I was always down the park with my Mum and Dad dreaming of coming on in the youth cup and scoring a goal. It's just great to get the goal.

"I thought I'd get a chance as they were very defensive from the start of the game and as soon as it went to extra time I thought they were steadying up for penalties. I got the chance and took it well.

"I think the full-back got the ball and had a bad touch and I came inside and I was always going to strike it with my left foot and I drove it through the left-back, who was coming across and it went in."

After failing to find the breakthrough in normal time, Purdy's strike sparked wild celebrations involving every player in claret and blue and several members of the bench mobbing the Ireland Under-17 international.

"It was a good celebration and it quietened the home fans a bit. It was a great feeling to see everyone happy. It was a long journey back so we had some fun on the bus."