Ben Johnson: Contributing with a goal is an amazing feeling

Ben Johnson has waited a long time for the feeling of seeing the ball hit the back of the net.

It is nearly two years since the Hammers youngster last scored - in a Premier League 2 victory over Everton in April 2019.

So he was thrilled to play his part in front of goal again in Sunday's come-from-behind draw against Brighton & Hove Albion.

20-year-old Johnson popped up with his first senior strike on the hour at London Stadium, cancelling out Neal Maupay's opener, before Tomáš Souček later levelled again to make sure of a point.

For Johnson, notching in the Premier League was a moment he had long pictured.

Ben Johnson scores against Brighton

"I’ve dreamt about scoring," he smiled. "I haven’t scored in ages! But to contribute with a goal is an amazing feeling.

"Scoring your first goal and getting off the mark in the Prem is a great feeling for me, especially with the way I took it as well, I’m really happy about that.

"Players were trying to block on the line, [I could see them] in my periphery, and players were trying to run at me, but I think you’ve just got to stay cool. That’s what the best strikers do, they stay cool.

"I tried to do that, keep it on target and that right hand side of the goal was the part that was open and I didn’t think the keeper could get back in time, so I just put it there and thankfully it went in."

I’ve been a good teammate to everyone and I want to play as well and have a part to play in the team which means a lot to me

Ben Johnson

Johnson showed his versatility in Sunday's draw, lining up as a left-wing-back as he made his first top flight start of the campaign.

After the Hammers twice fell behind, he was happy they emerged with a point at the game's conclusion.

"We take a point and move on," he added. "For our work rate I think a point is a fair result.

"They dominated for long periods in the first half, although I wouldn’t say they had many chances.

"We came in at half time and changed the formation a bit. We pressed and got in their faces, which helped us get up the pitch, and that was needed.

"To come away with a draw to take into the next game is a positive for us, I’d say."

Ben Johnson celebrates his goal against Brighton

That next game comes around quickly, as the Hammers travel to Southampton on Tuesday. Academy product Johnson would love to be involved once again.

He continued: "I want to stay in the team. I’ve been waiting for my opportunity, just doing everything I can in training.

"I just need to live right off the pitch, do everything I can on the pitch and listen to everyone from the manager and the other coaching staff to the physios. They’re all trying to help me.

"I’ve been a good teammate to everyone and I want to play as well and have a part to play in the team which means a lot to me."