All Whites forward Ben Waine has opened his goalscoring account with English League One club Plymouth Argyle, scoring against Bristol Rovers in the English Football League Trophy.
The 21-year-old scored with a looping header 24 minutes into the match when he rose above Rovers defender Bobby Thomas to meet a hanging cross.
Argyle’s 2-0 win under the floodlights of Rovers’ Memorial Stadium takes the side into the semi-finals of the competition, known as the Papa John’s Trophy.
The final will be played at Wembley, and Argyle go into the semi-final draw with Accrington Stanley, Bolton Wanderers and Cheltenham Town.
Waine played 89 minutes before being substituted at Bristol, drawing applause from Argyle’s 678 travelling fans.
Argyle manager Steven Schumacher praised Waine in his post-match interview, saying:
“It was a brilliant header, right in the top corner
“He showed strength to get rid of the centre back that was marking him, and guide it onto the corner. It was a brilliant goal.
“He actually missed two easier chances! He’ll get chances because he works so hard. His attitude to the game, how he wants to learn and get better. He’s going to be a good player, because we’ll spend time with him, put in the effort and keep working on his weaknesses.
“What a fantastic start to his career at Argyle!”
The Kiwi made his debut against Bolton Wanderers last Saturday, as a 66th-minute substitute in the scoreless draw, but the cup tie provided him with his first start.
Waine almost scored off the bench against Wanderers, having a header cleared off the line.
After the Bolton match, Schumacher said: “Ben is a bit of an unknown quantity. When he came on he gave us loads of energy; he was great when he came on. All his touches looked assured. I said to him: ‘Go on mate, go and score the winner in front of our fans, that’ll make you a hero’ and he almost did.”
Argyle travel to promotion rivals Ipswich Town on Sunday (NZT) for the Pilgrims’ third away game in a row.