Young players always hope to make an impact on their senior debut for their clubs – and Toby Stevenson couldn’t have asked for more from his Addicks bow.
The 18-year-old defender bagged a hat-trick during Charlton’s record 8-0 demolition of Stevenage in the EFL Trophy. The winning margin was the largest in Addicks history, with Stevenson also becoming the first man ever to score three times on his maiden appearance for the South Londoners.
“I don’t really score that much to be fair,” admitted Stevenson, who was snapped up from Leyton Orient in the summer.
“Playing wing-back, I thought why not get into the box. Get a chance, take it. A couple came. I hit the bar which was unlucky. It was a really good experience. Hopefully many more to come.
“It was a great experience for me. Thank you to the gaffer for putting me in. Jason (Euell – u23s manager) and all that lot. It was a really good experience. It’s a great experience to be in that kind of game. Scoring that many goals and defensively we were all switched on. We played really well. Everyone played superb I thought.
“It helps you a lot when you’re playing with experienced players. Talking to you, helping you positionally. Off the ball as well. It’s a big help for any player.”
Stevenson bagged his first and Charlton’s second of the evening midway through the first period, before unleashing a spectacular curling effort from outside the area with his right-foot in the second-half to make it 6-0.
His hat-trick goal came from the penalty spot after Nicky Ajose was felled in the box.
“I’ve got to thank Nicky for giving me the pen to get my hat-trick. It took a lot for him to give me the ball. Thanks to him, otherwise I wouldn’t have the match ball.
“[My second goal] was a great goal, one of my best. I’m left-footed as well! I couldn’t tell you what was going through my head when I scored.
“Just score it,” he added when asked what he was thinking when he stepped up to take the penalty.
“I knew where I was going to hit it. Just hit it and place it, hopefully it went in. And it did.”
Stevenson left Orient in the summer due to a lack of an u23s programme at Brisbane Road – but said that signing for Charlton was a no-brainer.
“It’s a great club. I had my chance to come here and I wanted to do well here. I wanted to sign, it’s such a great club. All the people here, all the boys are lovely lads. It’s a good club to be at.
“I’ve just got to keep working hard and doing what I’m doing. Keep performing well and try my best every time.”