'I can't believe I have played at Stamford Bridge and scored' - Chesterfield striker Akwasi Asante on his 'special moment' against Chelsea
Akwasi Asante said it was a ‘special moment’ and his ‘lucky day’ to score against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The striker pounced from close-range to pull a goal back in front of 6,000 jubilant Spireites fans who celebrated like it was the winner.
In doing so he became the first non-league player to score an FA Cup goal against a team in the top two of the Premier League since Rocky Baptiste for Farnborough Town against Arsenal at Highbury in January 2003.
“It is an unbelievable feeling,” he told the DT.
"It is crazy. I can’t believe I have played at Stamford Bridge and scored.”
He laughed: "I should be playing in the Premier League – I have scored at Stamford Bridge!
It was his first goal since returning from eight months out injured.
He added: "When I got injured I was playing some of my best football and then to get the injury was heartbreaking.
"It softens the blow a little bit from a personal point of view, it is a special moment.”
The 29-year-old, who came on in the second-half, was involved in the build-up to the goal as he flicked on Scott Loach’s goal-kick. Chelsea goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli saved from Kabongo Tshimanga before Asante tapped home.
The forward said: “When it dropped to me I thought ‘this is my lucky day’.
"When it dropped I just thought ‘I have actually scored here’. I did not know whether to smash it in or do something silly because it is Chelsea away but I just thought ‘don’t do anything stupid’ and I put it in the net.
"Adrenaline takes over at that time. It is surreal. I just gave a little wave to my mates in the corner and they were buzzing to see me score.”
Chelsea named a team full of international stars and their class showed as they ran out 5-1 winners to progress to the FA Cup fourth round.
"To be honest when I saw their line-up I started laughing to myself,” he said. “I was thinking this can’t be real. Maybe nine out of 11 of them would start in the Premier League. But you would rather play against their strong team. Everyone was buzzing when we saw the line-up. It is a nice experience to play against the best in the world. You see how far off you are!
He joked: "They are great players and at times you can’t get anywhere near them, at other times you think ‘I can play at this level – I have scored!’”
On the overall performance, the striker, who admitted he is not quite match-fit yet, said they could hold their heads up high.
“I think we have done all right considering who we are playing against – the best team in the world.
"It is a different level. We are non-league and they are the champions of Europe. It is exactly what I expected.
"I think the lads can be proud of themselves for the second-half performance. We can say we drew the second-half at Chelsea.
"We have managed to give the fans something to cheer about. Their support was unbelievable and it made it a great occasion for us.”