Sweet sixteen for teen star Ward!

By David Watters

The Football Association have congratulated EVO-STIK League Morpeth Town's Jackson Ward on becoming one of the youngest ever scorers in the history of the Emirates FA Cup.

The teenager was being hailed on Monday as the sixth youngest scorer in the competition's history after coming on as a second half substitute against Goole AFC on Saturday and scoring the final goal in a 5-1 win for the Highwaymen in the FA Cup's extra preliminary round.

Making his debut at the Victoria Pleasure Ground home of the former Northern Premier League club aged 16 years and 313 days, Ward bundled home from close range as the new EVO-STIK League East outfit hit the ground running to book a date with fellow NPL newboys Marske United in the Emirates FA Cup preliminary round.

Alongside a video of Jackson's goal, @EmiratesFACup tweeted: "Congratulations to @MorpethTownAFC's Jackson Ward who scored in the @EmiratesFACup this weekend at just 16 years and 313 days-old!"

@FACupFactfile founder Phil Annets also had news for the teenager when he retweeted the FA's post, the leading statistician posting: "Possibly the first person born in the 21st Century (ie after 31 Dec 2000) to score an #FACup goal."

Sean Cato still holds the record as the youngest every scorer when he netted for Barrow Town against Rothwell Town in 2011 aged 16 years and 25 days, his strike breaking the previous record set by former Charlton Athletic midfielder Jonjo Shelvey two years earlier when he scored against Norwich at the age 16 and 311 days.

Winger George Williams sits in second after hitting the net for MK Dons against Nantwich Town in 2011 – 66 days after celebrating his 16th birthday with forward Mason Bennett in third thanks to his goal for Derby County aged 16 and 174 days. Karn Miller-Neave pushed Newcastle United star Shelvey into fifth spot in 2014 when he netted for Ebbsfleet against Hythe Town aged 16 and 182 days to become the fourth youngest scorer.

Before facing Marske United, the Highwaymen travel to Belper Town on Saturday on the opening day of the 2018-19 Northern Premier League season in a 3pm kick-off.

Images courtesy of thefa.com & @MorpethTownAFC/Twitter

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