Nathan Tella described the feeling of scoring his first senior goal as an overwhelming sense of emotions, as he netted what proved to be the winner in Southampton's 3-1 victory over Fulham.

Introduced as a 58th-minute substitute for Danny Ings, when the score was 1-0 to Ralph Hasenhüttl's side, the 21-year-old scored with his first touch, firing home from a low Kyle Walker-Peters delivery before racing off in a joyous celebration.

"I can't put it into words," said the Academy graduate. "It's an overwhelming feeling, and overwhelming sense of emotion.

"I'm just so happy, it's a dream for me. It's something I've wanted to do my whole life and the fact I was able to do it today was a great feeling and I just want to thank my family, my friends, everyone who's got me here – coaches, teachers at school, everyone.

"I've had chances throughout the season, chances where I've worked the keeper and chances where I haven't, but today I'm just so happy that Kyle played a great pass to me and I was able to get the finish.

"It's something I've been working on, my finishing. Once I started getting into the team and getting games, there's always that thought of 'get a goal, get an assist' and the fact I was able to get both today I'm delighted, I'm just so happy."

Tella's assist came on 82 minutes, after Fulham had cut Saints' lead to a single goal, with his clever back-heel setting up Theo Walcott for a finish from 18 yards.

"He's someone I looked up to when I was young, and signing my scholarship I was looking at him and the way he plays and I wanted to have a career like him," said Tella. "The fact I've been able to share a pitch with him numerous times this season has been a great feeling, and to get an assist for him was a great feeling."