A former Bristol Rovers prospect has become the youngest scorer in the history of the FA Cup.
Evander Grubb, 16, netted a brace for Bristol Manor Farm in their 5-1 win at Cadbury Heath in the preliminary round.
Grubb came through Rovers academy system and was released in December, but he is already showing his talent after making his senior debut for Manor Farm on Saturday, coming on as an early substitute.
And just before half time, he slammed home a loose ball from a free-kick to give his side a 2-1 lead at the interval.
Forward Grubb added his second goal in added time to make it 5-1, with Manor Farm earning a place in the first qualifying round – four wins from a place in the first round proper.
At 16 years and 54 days old, records show Grubb is the youngest player to ever score in the FA Cup.
The benchmark was set less than a fortnight ago, when Mydas Smalls, aged 16 years and 63 days, scored in Whitton United’s 4-3 win over Suffolk rivals Ipswich Wanderers in the extra preliminary round on September 1.
“Our left winger got injured in the first few minutes, so I came on for him,” Grubb told Bristol Live.
“I was so relieved when I scored. I came on and scored just before half time to make it 2-1.
“It’s the best thing I’ve done in football, scoring in the FA Cup. It was a good feeling.”
That feeling only improved later after full time as Grubb and his teammates learned he had broken such a significant record,
“I was surprised, to be honest, and absolutely buzzing,” Grubb, from Radstock, added. “Hopefully it carries on.”
Manor Farm boss Lee Lashenko told Bristol Live there was no beginner’s luck involved in Grubb’s memorable day, certain he has a top talent on his hands.
“Our under-18s manager brought him in over the summer and it quite quickly become apparent he is a special player,” the manager said.
“He’s only just 16 and we played him in a few pre-season friendlies. He fit in well with the players and the standard of football, and yesterday he came on early in the game.
“Unfortunately we had an injury to Jamie Bird, one of our flair players. Evander came on and he seized the opportunity.”
Grubb’s manager believes his record-breaker is destined to find his way back into professional football sooner rather than later.
“The lad’s got it all it all,” Lashenko said. “There are a few clubs hovering around him and I firmly believe he is going to get a chance to progress into the professional game again sooner rather than later.
“He was attached to Bristol Rovers and they released him, but sometimes it’s better for these lads to go out and play at a standard of football that is better than looking after them too much in the academies.