Long reflects on record-breaking opener

By SFC Media Tue 23 Apr Watford v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Shane Long

Shane Long was shocked to discover his razor-sharp instincts had written his name into the Premier League record books after scoring inside the first seven seconds at Watford.

It was actually the hosts who got the game under way, but Long instantly charged down Craig Cathcart’s clearance before racing through to lift the ball over advancing goalkeeper Ben Foster.

The goal, officially timed at 7.69 seconds, broke a 19-year record to become the fastest ever in Premier League history – but Andre Gray’s late leveller ensured it would not be the winner as Saints were pegged back at Vicarage Road.

“It’s nice. I didn’t find out until after the game and I didn’t know what the record was before,” Long revealed.

“In every game you want to show your intent from the first kick and put them under pressure.

“Mainly it’s just to force that long ball so they’re not quite set. Luckily I blocked it, it dropped nicely and I took a touch across Craig.

“I know Ben from West Brom and he’s an amazing keeper. He spreads himself so well and from watching clips I knew the dinked finish was my best option of scoring. Thankfully it came off.

“Records like that are nice to have I suppose, but it’s just disappointing that it wasn’t a goal to get three points because I thought we deserved it.

“Everybody put in such a shift all over the park. We had a few chances to get a second goal – I missed a couple, Redders hit the post twice, Bertie hit the post as well… if one of those goes in, it gives us breathing space and we can see out the game.

“But Watford are a good side – they are where they are in the league for a reason, so fair play to them for coming back.”

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