Tom Smyth admitted he was surprised to hear he was going to make his full league debut at Hereford – but now he hopes he has seized his chance.
The 19-year-old was signed on a one-year contract in the summer after being released from Preston, where he was the reserve team captain.
He featured in the ill-fated Johnstone Paints Trophy game against Tranmere and came on in the 3-2 loss to Rotherham.
But Reds boss John Coleman gave him the nod to start in the 1-1 draw with the Bulls on Saturday and Smyth admitted it was a proud moment.
"I was surprised to see my name in the starting XI but it was great to get going and you just have to get on with it and see what happens.
"There’s quite a lot of competition for places in defence here, and there have been a few trialists coming in, and it’s hard to keep yourself going in the reserves.
"But you’ve just got to wait for your chance which I got on Saturday and I have got to hope I keep my place for tomorrow.
"I was a little bit nervous before the Hereford game but I think everyone has nerves before their league debut.
"But now I have made my league debut that’s one to tick off the list and there’s nothing to be nervous about now.
"My mum and dad travelled as they knew I was starting and I hope I did okay."
Smyth partnered Phil Edwards in the heart of the Stanley defence and acquitted himself well.
But he admitted he was just pleased to have the opportunity as, before suspensions kicked in, he had to settle for a place on the bench or even in the stands during the Reds’ solid start to the season and Coleman didn’t change his starting XI for seven games.
He said: "That’s the way football goes sometimes. We weren’t conceding goals and we were picking up points so you have got to expect it and you have to bide your time and wait and, now it’s come, hopefully I have taken it with both hands."
And he was happy with a point on their travels at Edgar Stret – a ground at which the Reds have never won.
"We were saying in the dressing room after the game that every point is a point gained but we’re just disappointed that we didn’t get the three which is what we would have liked," he said. "But that’s the way it goes isn’t it?
"The second half was hard. With the sun in our eyes we could hardly see anything and they were just going longer and longer but I thought we got it down and played some good stuff.
"We cut them open a few times and could have scored a couple of times in the second half as well.
"We haven’t won away from home yet but the first away win is definitely coming."
He continued: "It’s great playing alongside Phil Edwards. I know he’s always going to be behind me so, no matter what happens, I’ve always got him, Sean Hessey and Dean Winnard all covering."
And now he hopes he can put a torrid summer – which he spent looking for a new club after leaving Deepdale – behind him.
"It’s was horrible trying to find a club in the summer but thankfully the gaffer has taken me on here and I am delighted.
"It’s good banter and we have a great team spirit and hopefully we can kick on from this little patch we are going through and get a few more points on the board.
"I just want to play as many games as I can and get some experience and see where it takes me"
And maybe get on the scoresheet?
"I very rarely score goals but I would like to get at least one this season. I’ll go up for corners and see what I can do."