Yesterday was a day to remember for Nottingham Forest gem Aaron Donnelly. The defender scored his first professional goal as Port Vale defeated MK Dons 1-0 in League One.
The versatile performer joined the Valiants in January. He had spent the first half of the season playing for the under-21s and also made his debut for the Reds in the Carabao Cup.
Donnelly jumped at the chance to go and play in League One. He has been playing as a left-sided central defender under Darrell Clarke but he is naturally a left-back.
Yesterday he found himself on hand to put Vale into the lead after 22 minutes. Donnelly stroked the ball home inside the penalty area after a bit of a goalmouth scramble following a teasing cross.
It proved a huge win for Vale. They’d won only once in 10 matches prior to yesterday and they need a few more points to ensure they survive in League One this season.
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Donnelly is fancied by Steve Cooper. He praised him after his efforts in the Carabao Cup victory over Grimsby earlier this season and he should make an impact on the first team at some point.
The 19-year-old is clearly enjoying himself at Vale Park. He’s made eight appearances and is now considered as a first-team regular at the club under Clarke.
Donnelly scores for Port Vale; Ryan Yates and Liverpool gem react
The Irish youngster will never forget this moment. Scoring your first professional goal is special and the Forest man will now hope to score a few more as his career progresses.
After his goalscoring efforts, the player took to Instagram. He received some praise from teammates past and present, with plenty of positive comments.
Liverpool gem Connor Bradley reacted. He knows Donnelly from the various Northern Ireland young teams that they’ve represented together.
He simply said: “Love it!”
Forest star Ryan Yates was also on hand to offer some praise to the big defender. He replied with the stars in the eyes emoji and clearly, he was delighted for the Reds youngster.
The challenge for Donnelly is to stay grounded and keep working hard. If he does that, there is absolutely no reason why he can’t make his mark on the Forest team in the future.