Lee celebrates first-team debut

West Ham United's slender 1-0 FA Cup with Budweiser third-round replay defeat at Manchester United failed to dampen Elliot Lee's spirits, as the teenage striker celebrated his senior debut.

Lee, who is enjoying a swift ascent to prominence through the youth ranks, replaced Ricardo Vaz Te with 78 minutes on the clock at Old Trafford.

And though he was ultimately unable to inspire a late comeback, the 18-year-old was understandably thrilled to have made his first-team bow in such illustrious surroundings.

"I'm over the moon and had a brilliant night. It would have been great at Upton Park but the next best thing is the Theatre of Dreams at Old Trafford, so I'm delighted the gaffer decided to chuck me on," Lee confirmed. "It's unfortunate about the result but I'm still happy from a personal point of view.

"Obviously it would have been great if one chance had dropped to me but I was just happy to be out there playing alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney, so I thought it was brilliant.

"It has been going really well. I was top scorer for the youth team last season and I've pushed on to the Development Squad this year, so hopefully I can keep pushing on and push for a place on the bench for the first team."

Lee's father, Rob, donned the claret and blue 16 times in 2003/04, and his 18-year-old son is already setting his sights on a run out in the Barclays Premier League, in the hope he might offer manager Sam Allardyce something a little different.

"I'm not the 6"5 striker that's going to flick things on, but I'll do my best to hold it up. I'll run in behind and hopefully get you goals," he added.

"Obviously a Premier League debut is my next hope. I've been on the bench once, a few weeks ago, and that was really good. But we've bought in a few more strikers now, so I'll have to compete with them and see if I can get my chance.

"I think it was great that the manager decided to go with two up front [at Old Trafford], which gives me more of a chance, and hopefully he might do again in the future."