Karn Miller-Neave’s goal on Saturday has proved to be much more than just a stunning debut strike.
The 16-year-old has written his name in the history books as the Fleet’s youngest-ever goalscorer and we can also reveal he is the fourth youngest scorer in FA Cup history.
In 2009, Charlton’s Jonjo Shelvey set the record as the youngest ever FA Cup goalscorer at 16 years and 311 days when he netted against Norwich City in a third round tie. In 2011, he was beaten by Barrow Town’s Sean Cato, whose goal against Rothwell Town in the preliminary round came at the age of 16 years and 25 days.
In January 2013, Derby’s Mason Bennett was 16 and 174 days – just eight days younger than Miller-Neave – when he scored against Tranmere Rovers, putting him in third place in the record books, while MK Dons’ George Williams was 16 and 66 days when he scored against Nantwich Town in 2011.
As far as the club record is concerned, Miller-Neave has beaten Luke Moore’s existing record from March 2005, when Moore’s goal against Dover in the Kent Senior Cup came at the age of 16 and 328 days.
It’s been a rollercoaster week for Miller-Neave, who also starred in the FA Youth Cup tie at Folkestone Invicta last Thursday. He is one of a number of exciting talents to have joined the new club Academy setup under youth manger Daryl McMahon this season. First-team boss Steve Brown told FleetOnline, “Karn has had an outstanding week. He scored in the 4-0 FA Youth Cup win at Folkestone and made three assists. He then scores with a spectacular goal against Hythe on his full debut. The reaction of the other players showed what this squad is all about and the ovation from the crowd was the icing on the cake for him. He is a level-headed boy and will take this in his stride and he needs to continue to work hard if he is to continue to progress.”