Preston North End’s Josh Brownhill was delighted to make his professional debut against Oldham Athletic but was disappointed at the 2-0 loss.
The result means the Lilywhites head out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and Lee Johnson's side progress into the third round of the competition.
In truth the game was done and dusted by the time the 17-year-old took to the field, following first half goals from Danny Philliskirk and James Wesolowski for the Latics, but Brownhill was happy to get some playing time nonetheless.
“It’s good, I’m just happy I got on and got a lot of time to play football which I’m happy about,” he told PNE.Com in an exclusive interview following the game.
Inside the last ten minutes of the match, the ball fell to the midfielder around 25 yards out, inviting him to have a go at goal.
With perfect technique the youth team graduate struck his shot with venom, only to see it roll agonisingly wide of Paul Rachubka’s post.
“It would have been unbelievable,” Brownhill said.
“I can’t really describe what it would have been like if I’d have scored but I’m just unlucky I didn’t.”
In the lead up to the game against Oldham, Brownhill received a torrent of messages wishing him the best from fellow players, fans and coaches – something he was extremely grateful for.
He said: “They’ve been excellent, everyone has given me support and said good luck.”
“Everyone has been superb.”
The youngster travelled with North End’s senior squad to Peterborough at the weekend, in order to get a feel for life among the first team, and he believes that experience did him the world of good.
“It felt good, it was a really good experience to be part of it,” he said.
“It made me more comfortable with the first team and I got to know them a little bit better so it was a great experience.”
Simon Grayson made numerous changes to his starting XI, handing debuts to Alex Nicholson and Ryan Croasdale as well as Brownhill from the bench .
Oldham on the other hand started nine of the side that gave PNE a good run for their money in League One just last month.
The experience in the Latics line-up showed in the first half, though Brownhill believes North End battled back well after the break and were unlucky to end the game without something to show from it.
“First half we started off a bit sloppy but the second half especially I think we did really well,” he continued.
“I think we deserved more out of the game.”
With the game against Crewe Alexandra fast approaching, the prospect of potentially being involved in two matches in such quick succession is something that would surely excite Brownhill.
However, the midfielder has his feet firmly planted on the ground and refuses to get ahead of himself.
“It’s out of my hands really, it’s up to the gaffer,” he said. “Hopefully yes but if not it’s not the end of the world.”