Dion Sembie-Ferris has set his sights on securing a first-ever Football League appearance after making his Colchester United bow.

The teenage winger is still on cloud nine after making his senior debut in the U’s FA Cup defeat at Cardiff City, last Friday.

Sembie-Ferris came on for the final stages of the third-round tie at the Cardiff City Stadium, after coming off the bench to replace Elliott Hewitt.

The skilful 18-year-old made quite an impression in the short time he was on the pitch.

And having made his professional debut, Sembie-Ferris now wants to play his part for the U’s in League One.

He said: “I was just happy to get on the pitch and help the team.

“It was a great feeling and after this, the only way I can go is up now.

“I want to keep progressing with the first team and hopefully playing.

“My aim now is to get an appearance in the league and hopefully push on from there.

“It was a great feeling to get on the pitch but obviously it would have been a lot better with a win.”

Sembie-Ferris was one of two academy players to make their senior Colchester debut at Cardiff.

Midfielder Tom Lapslie also made his maiden first-team appearance for the U’s, in their 3-1 defeat.

“Tom and I were both chuffed for one another, making our debuts at the same time,” said Sembie-Ferris, who joined the U’s from St Neots Town in 2013.

“He’s someone I’ve played with for a season or two now and we’re both so happy.

“Tony (Humes) and Richard (Hall) just said go and do what you do in the under-21s.

“They said to me that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

“I tried to make an impact in the time that I was on the pitch and made a couple of chances.

“I was unfortunate not to score but I felt I did my bit and I was pleased.”

Sembie-Ferris thought he might have earned Colchester a late penalty at Cardiff when he appeared to be pulled back in the box by Declan John.

He added: “As I cut in, I thought that I was tugged back.

“But there were a few bodies in the box and it was hard for the referee to see, so it can go either way.”

For all of the latest Colchester United news, see the Daily Gazette.