Fleetwood’s second-choice goalkeeper Alex Cairns was delighted to make his first Football League appearance for five years and keep a clean sheet at Chesterfield.
The 23-year-old’s only league game prior to Tuesday’s 1-0 win at the Proact was as a substitute for Leeds in their 5-0 Championship defeat at home to Blackpool in 2011.
Leeds loaned the Yorkshireman to Barrow and Stalybridge before Cairns moved to Chesterfield in the summer of 2015.
He didn’t manage a senior appearance there or at Rotherham, who he joined in January, before his switch to the Fylde coast in May.
And Cairns praised Uwe Rosler and the rest of the coaching staff for making his step up to the first team a seamless one after Town number one Chris Neal was forced off in the ninth minute at Chesterfield, following an accidental knee in the face from Gary Liddle.
Cairns said: “Being second- choice as it stands, you have to be ready at any point and that is why we train day in, day out.
“Credit to the coaching staff here – they put on great sessions and make sure the lads are ready. There is no player who is not involved. Even if you are on the bench, you are still involved.
“It does not matter if you are on the bench for 50 games, you need to prove you are ready when you are needed and hopefully I did that.
“Lucs (goalkeeping coach David Lucas) has been brilliant with me as so has Nealo.
“We are all pushing for the same thing, and I’m delighted to make my debut for Fleetwood.
And Cairns was happy to mark his debut with a clean sheet. He added: “We all work hard together on the training pitch and luckily – well, I say luckily but we made our own luck – we defended well.
“I’m glad that I could help by taking crosses and making a couple of saves. I’m delighted. “If you making your debut, especially as a goalkeeper, you want to keep a clean sheet.
“To do that and get an away win against a team I used to play for, I was delighted with it. It was my first league appearance in a number of years. My last one was with Leeds but happily I kept a clean sheet in this one.”