Christian Walton: Brighton debut delights teenage goalkeeper

Christian Walton (left)
Walton (left) joined Brighton from Plymouth in February 2013 and is an England Under-20 international

Brighton & Hove Albion keeper Christian Walton says making his senior debut in the League Cup fourth round defeat at Tottenham Hotspur was a great moment.

The 18-year-old was included after regular stopper David Stockdale sustained a finger injury in training.

"It was a once in a lifetime opportunity," Walton told BBC Sussex.

"I was quite nervous before kick-off but the lads were brilliant, which made it a lot easier. It was a great experience and one I won't forget."

Brighton manager Sami Hyypia:
"Christian has improved already in the months I have been here. Hopefully we can work hard enough that he keeps improving."

Stockdale has played in all but one of Brighton's games this season and Walton admitted being thrust into the starting XI was "a bit of a shock".

"'Stocko' got injured on Tuesday but I didn't really think much of it," said the teenager.

"I did a light session on Wednesday morning and the gaffer came over and told me I'd be starting.

"I've had to be patient and have been working hard in training. The gaffer had faith in me to put me in.

"It's something you've got to deal with as a professional and I think it went well."

Seagulls manager Sami Hyypia praised the England Under-20 international's performance after the tie, which ended in a 2-0 victory for Spurs.

"It is not an easy place for your first game but he did brilliantly," said the Finn.

"He couldn't do anything with the goals but when he needed to be there, he was there.

"He is one of the young goalkeepers in England who has a chance to play at the highest level.

"He has improved already in the months I have been here. Hopefully we can work hard enough that he keeps improving."

Top Stories