COLCHESTER United cup hero Noah Chilvers admits netting the decisive spot-kick in his side’s Carabao Cup victory at Crystal Palace was an incredible feeling.

The 18-year-old midfielder showed nerves of steel to score the U’s fifth and final penalty in the shoot-out and secure them a magnificent second-round win at Selhurst Park, against their Premier League opponents.

Chilvers had earlier come on as a second-half substitute for only his third senior appearance for Colchester, helping them hold their top-flight hosts to a 0-0 draw over 90 minutes and ensuring the tie went to penalties where John McGreal’s side triumphed.

Chilvers said: “It’s difficult to sum up my feelings when the penalty went in – it was incredible.

“I did want to take a penalty but I wasn’t sure that I was going to take the fifth.

“It was getting nearer and nearer and then I thought, ‘I’m going to take one here’.

“I felt alright at the time and I can’t really remember what happened after I scored!


“Bally (Steve Ball) asked who was having which penalty – when it got to the fifth taker, I just said ‘yep, I’ll have it’.

“I’m confident with my penalties and I just thought ‘I may as well take one’ and I thought I may as well make a name for myself.

“I’ve taken a couple of penalties for the under-23s in the past but I’d obviously never taken one in that kind of situation before, so it was a first.

“I just focused on the goal, the keeper, the ball.

“When I was walking up, I just tried to cancel all of the noise and everything else out and just treat it as a normal penalty with me, the keeper, the ball and the goal and then thankfully, I put it away.

“I honestly can’t describe the feeling I had when it went in.

“I didn’t really care whether it was a good penalty or not because when I saw him (Wayne Hennessey) dive the other way, I just ran straight over to Gerks (Dean Gerken) and all of the fans.”

Chilvers said it was a great experience to get onto the Selhurst Park pitch for Colchester on Tuesday night, after coming on as a 77th-minute substitute for Ben Stevenson.

The U’s academy product, who only made his professional debut for Colchester in March, found himself up against international stars such as Wilifried Zaha, Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend and says he had to try and remain focused on the task in hand.

“I really enjoyed the playing side of it,” said Chilvers, who was congratulated by Palace boss and former England manager Roy Hodgson after the match.

“It was only the third game of my career and it was incredible.

“I had a good chat with the gaffer before I went on and he said ‘it’s your opportunity, don’t let anyone take it away from you’.

“That gave me a confidence boost going on.

“I didn’t really touch the ball for a couple of minutes but then I didn’t really touch it for a couple of minutes.

“But I got a touch and then once you get on, it’s pretty much like a normal game really.

“There’s the pressure of the fans and stuff but you just have to treat it as much like a normal game as you can.

“When you look over and you see Zaha on the ball, there’s a part of you that thinks ‘that’s Wilifried Zaha’ but you have to treat it as a normal game and that’s what I tried to do.

“You have to switch off from a football fan to switch on that seriousness.

“When I was warming up, you’ve got them coming up and you’re thinking ‘wow, that’s £70m there’.

“You have to keep your cool and the gaffer said to me that I’d earned the right to be out there.”

Colchester head coach McGreal admits he did not know that Chilvers was going to step up and take their all-important fifth penalty in the shoot-out.

McGreal said: “Little did I know, I see him (Chilvers) pick the ball up and take the fifth penalty, fair play to the lad.

“I know up to four but after that I let the boys figure it out.”