Jack Sowerby told other young players never to give up after his patience paid off with a goal on his first League start to fuel Fleetwood’s 2-0 win over Peterborough.
The 21-year-old was a surprise inclusion in Uwe Rosler’s starting line-up but excelled in his Highbury baptism of fire as he opened the scoring in the third minute.
Released by Preston, Sowerby dropped down to play for Squires Gate in the North West Counties League before he was snapped up by Town in 2014.
He has had to bide his time for a first-team start, having made five substitute appearances. And Sowerby says his non-league experience has paid off.
He said: “I played for Squires Gate for about two seasons. If it doesn’t work out, drop down, keep working, don’t give up.
“I hope we carry on like this on Tuesday (at Chesterfield) and Saturday (at Millwall), and hopefully I will get a chance again.”
Sowerby got his big chance after impressing and scoring in the development squad’s 2-0 win over his former club North End last Tuesday.
He looked so cool as he ran on to Ash Hunter’s through ball to score his first League goal but admits he was anything but.
Sowerby said: “I just looked around and nobody was near me. I had the ball in loads of room and panicked a little bit, but I kept my head and steered it in.
“They are the harder ones, but I took it well and it was a good pass from Ash.
“We hadn’t won for a few games, so the early goal really helped. It is a massive three points.”
Bobby Grant added the second before Sowerby was substituted. He said: “I started to cramp up and get tired but I just gave it my all.”
Rosler said of Sowerby’s call-up: “It wasn’t a gamble at all. I think it is a great example for our squad that you can play yourself in when you play well in the development games.
“He was not in the starting 11 on Thursday but throughout the training session he played himself in.
“I trust the quality of my own staff. They completely agreed to play him and he did himself proud. He brought to the table exactly what we were hoping for.”
After six games without a win or clean sheet, Rosler welcomed the victory which lifted Town to 13th in League One.
He said: “I think it was needed. I had a good feeling because we had a good 10 days. We worked on our shape and our game-plan, and I think that paid off.”