Jake Hesketh hailed a special night after his first senior goal saw off Crystal Palace in the EFL Cup third round.
Hesketh followed up Shane Long’s parried effort to extend the Saints advantage in the second-half, after Charlie Austin had opened the scoring from the spot.
Reflecting on his second appearance for the first-team, the midfielder reserved praise for the club’s policy of giving youngsters a chance.
Hesketh said: “It was really special and it’s a night I’ve dreamed of since I was younger.
“To get the nod to start you want to go out there and take the opportunity so to score was great and I’m really happy.
“Once it’s gone in, I’ve run off to the corner not really knowing what I was going to do. I was debating a knee slide!
“There’s not many other clubs it happens at where you can celebrate with people you’ve grown up with.
“Prowsey and Harrison Reed are older but I’ve played with Matty (Targett) since I was seven years old which is great.”
Having started the season well with the U23s, Hesketh is now hoping to impress and gain further recognition from Claude Puel and his staff.
He added: “You can show what you can do at U23 level but when you get a first-team opportunity you can take it and grasp it when it comes.
“Getting a taste of it has made me determined to be around it on a regular basis and try to cement myself in the squad.”