Fulham youngster Jay Stansfield may have only been at Birmingham City for a matter of days, but he has already became a huge hit with supporters, following his injury time winner against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday and he has expressed his delight following his debut goal in a post-match interview.
Stansfield arrived at St. Andrews within the last few days, following a successful loan spell with League One side Exeter City last season, where he followed in his late-Fathers footsteps to become a success at St. James’ Park.
The 20-year-old started Saturday’s match with Plymouth Argyle on the bench, with manager John Eustace opting for the experienced Scott Hogan instead. That decision did prove to be a success as the Irish international gave Birmingham the lead after eight minutes, following some good play by Japanese forward Koji Miyoshi.
However, on the hour mark Plymouth hit back, as their talisman Ryan Hardie was on hand to convert from close range, after some great play by Plymouth duo Finn Azaz and Morgan Whittaker.
Stansfield was introduced to the St. Andrews crowd within four minutes of the goal, replacing Welsh youth international Jordan James and he repaid his new fans in the 95th minute. Stansfield picked up the ball outside of the area, ran forward and struck a flying effort into the top corner, leaving Connor Hazard stranded in the visiting goal.
That goal continued Birmingham’s unbeaten start to the season, as the Blues climb to third in the Championship table, behind Norwich on goal difference as well as Leicester who are the only side with a 100% record.
Speaking after his debut success, Stansfield stated…
“I couldn’t have dreamed of a better debut. It doesn’t get much better, especially against Plymouth. He scored many good goals – my goal would be to score as many goals as he did and become a hero like he did,”
“I think of him every day and the last couple of weeks I could’ve done with him and a bit of advice. I had so many teams coming in and I didn’t know which one to go to. It’s quite tough deciding if I was moving away from home, moving up the country, down the country.
“But I’ve got all my family around me. I’ve got my stepdad who helps massively and also my mum, who doesn’t know much about football but gives me lots of advice in a family sense,”
Stansfield was hotly chased by 12 Championship sides during the summer and his arrival at St. Andrews is a major coup by John Eustace’s side in my opinion. He had an impressive spell with Exeter City last season and has all the characteristics of becoming a top striker.
It will be intriguing to see just how well Stansfield does in the Championship and whether that could open the door for Fulham to bring him back in January, should they be struggling for goals in the Premier League, similar to Ellis Simms at Everton last season.