O’s midfielder Steven Alzate was delighted to cap off a memorable week with his maiden senior goal for the club in the 4-0 win at Newport County on Saturday.
Fresh from his first senior appearance off the bench in Tuesday’s defeat at Stevenage, the 18-year-old followed it up with his first start in South Wales, and ensured the O’s got off to the best possible start when netting the opener just eight minutes into the game.
“Last week was a proud moment to make my professional debut against Stevenage, so to follow that up with my first start and first goal was even better,” Alzate told leytonorient.com.
“I gave it everything I could and to have helped the team to a 4-0 victory is a fantastic feeling.
On the goal, he added: “I was buzzing when I scored, I saw the ball coming into my path and it was bobbling so I wanted to make sure I got a clean connection with the ball.
“I managed to get my head over it to keep the shot down and I was over the moon to see it go into the back of the net.”
Alzate was pleased to help the O’s get off to the best possible start at Rodney Parade, something which we had been unable to do recently.
“We knew we had to start the match well because in recent games we have found ourselves on the back foot, so to score so early and then add a second a few minutes later definitely helped us settle,” he remarked.
The youngster was one of 12 academy products involved in the matchday squad, and Alzate admitted that so many familiar faces have helped him settle into the senior environment and play without any fear.
“Seeing the boys I have played alongside in the younger age groups also doing well makes me proud. We have played together for a good three years now and helped each other out along the way so to see them playing and scoring is pleasing.
“It doesn’t matter who scores, we will always be happy for each other and as long as we come away with a result that is all that matters.
“With us all being so young there is nothing really for us to lose, though we understand the situation that the club is in and want to do everything we can to keep our Football League status.
“We all have standards and want to perform well every week, and I think we showed that at Newport. We have now got to keep it going put together a consistent run of performances.”
It was a confident performance throughout the match from Alzate and he also played his part for the fourth goal as he was brought down in the box which allowed Josh Koroma to seal his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
“The pitch wasn’t the best but I was feeling really confident in that moment so decided to take him on to try and break into the area and managed to win the penalty for Josh to complete his hat-trick,” he added.
O’s boss Danny Webb has had no problem with including a number of the youngsters he has worked with in the academy in the first team of late, and Alzate is eager to repay that faith shown in them by helping to guide the team away from the relegation zone.
“He believes in all of us, and especially the youngsters as he has been with us since under-14s. He knows what each of us can do and to see someone have so much faith in you is a wonderful feeling,” he remarked.
“Every time we go out there we are doing it for him, but also for the fans and the club as a whole.”