Sheffield Wednesday defender Osaze Urhoghide insists he will not get carried away by his “dream” senior debut after helping the Owls dump Premier League Brighton out of the FA Cup.
The 19-year-old Londoner was left contemplating his footballing future last summer when his contract expired at League One club AFC Wimbledon.
He later joined the Owls after impressing on trial and produced a solid display after being thrust into first-team action for Saturday’s 1-0 third-round success at the Amex Stadium.
“What a stage to make my debut. I’m so happy. The hard work I have put in, people don’t understand what I’ve been through,” he said.
“It’s just great to get the win, clean sheet, it’s just a dream come true.
“When I came out, I was looking around, I was like, ‘wow, this is a proper match day’. I loved it.
I am going to push on for more, there’s always more. I am going to work hard in training and try and play the next game.Osaze Urhoghide
“I’m not going to let this get to my head, it’s just a first.
“I am going to push on for more, there’s always more. I am going to work hard in training and try and play the next game.”
Wednesday’s deserved win in Sussex, courtesy of Adam Reach’s deflected second-half strike, secured a first FA Cup victory over top-flight opposition since beating bitter rivals Sheffield United in the 1993 semi-finals.
The result ended a run of three successive defeats which have seen the South Yorkshire club fall behind in the Sky Bet Championship promotion race.
Right-back Urhoghide was told on Friday by Owls boss Garry Monk that he would be playing and contributed to a clean sheet with his father and brother watching from the stands.
“In the summer my contract ended with AFC Wimbledon, I was looking for a new club,” said Urhoghide.
“It was tough, I didn’t know where I was going to end up and Sheffield Wednesday picked me up.
“I just want to thank (manager Garry Monk) for putting his trust in me. I’m glad to pay him back and get the clean sheet and the win.”
Monk praised the courage of his players as they set aside their stuttering promotion push.
“We knew coming here we would have to be very good in our structure and defensively. But it was more courage and mentality today,” said Monk.
“We let ourselves down last week, that was a big thing for us and we talked about that side of it. Today we put that right.
“I know it was only three games – before that we were six unbeaten and doing very well in the league. Three defeats and everyone thinks the world’s ending.
“We were just disappointed with ourselves and wanted to put that right.
“(It was) a long trip for our fans so (we had) even more determination to make sure they went home with something to cheer about and I think they’ll be very proud of that result.”
Wednesday’s previous win over top-flight opposition in this tournament came courtesy of goals from Chris Waddle and Mark Bright at Wembley in the 1993 semi-final against city rivals Sheffield United.
Around 2,200 travelling Owls supporters celebrated wildly when winger Reach ended that run by smashing home his second goal of the season with 25 minutes remaining after being teed up from a free-kick.
The visitors comfortably hung on against last season’s semi-finalists, although their joy was tempered by 12-goal top scorer Steven Fletcher being carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury.
Monk must wait to discover the extent of the problem but revealed Scotland international Fletcher had undergone an X-ray and not suffered a broken bone. Wednesday had made six changes for the third-round tie, including a senior debut tfor Urhoghide, while Albion opted for seven alterations.
The Seagulls were jeered off by sections of the home support at full-time after producing a below-par performance and failing to threaten an equaliser.
Brighton boss Graham Potter admitted his side were poor but refused to blame individual players for the loss.
“It was a flat performance, we couldn’t really get going,” said the former York player.
“We had some opportunities, first half, but it probably wasn’t a great game of football and in the end Sheffield Wednesday overall deserved to go through. Good luck to them.”
Brighton: Button, Duffy, Balogun (Connolly 46), Webster, Schelotto, Stephens, Alzate, Bissouma (Jahanbakhsh 63), Bong (Bernardo 71), Maupay, Gross. Unused substitutes: Montoya, Steele, Propper, Cochrane.
Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Urhoghide, Borner, Iorfa, Fox, Lee, Reach (Lees 90), Pelupessy, Luongo, Murphy (Harris 71), Fletcher (Winnall 55). Unused substitutes: Rhodes, Nuhiu, Wildsmith, Hunt.
Referee: A Marriner (West Midlands).