HE was on the field for only a few minutes, but Adnan Ahmed was delighted to make a first senior League appearance for Town at the Galpharm Stadium.
The 20-year-old is a whole-hearted midfield performer who was thrilled to get the nod to replace Lee Fowler for the closing stages of last Saturday's 3-2 win over Bournemouth.
After making his debut as a substitute at Rochdale last season and, this term, playing from the bench in the LDV Vans Trophy ties against Morecambe and Blackpool (where he scored a fine goal), it was his first appearance in a League fixture at home, where fans gave him a warm reception.
"It was a great feeling to run out in front of a big crowd at the stadium because I've been waiting a long time and, hopefully, it's the first of many more to come," said Ahmed.
"I've been on the bench a few times without getting a chance, so I was very happy to get on at the end and to do my bit in the win.
"The gaffer just told me to make sure Bournemouth didn't score - so that's what I did!
"It was a case of seeing out the last five minutes, really, and I enjoyed it.
"For the last few weeks I think I've been doing pretty well in the Reserve team, so it was nice to get a chance in a first-team game, and obviously the next thing is to force my way into a first-team start."
Fowler got the shirt last weekend, when Chris Brandon was suspended, in a three-man midfield including skipper Jon Worthington and Tony Carss, who is now out for a month following hernia surgery.
Danny Schofield was a fellow substitute last weekend, and Ahmed explained: "There is a lot of competition for midfield places.
"The manager has told me all the way through to stay patient, and I've just been trying to keep playing well in the hope I'll get noticed.
"I'd like to think I'm an all-rounder rather than a specific type of midfield player.
"Defensively I can work hard and do a solid job, I like to try and open up the opposition defence when going forward and I do like to have a go for goal - so there's a little bit of everything in my game.
"I'm still playing for a contract in relative terms, so it would be great to stay involved with the first team and, hopefully, to earn another chance with the club."
Ahmed has impressed fans with a string of solid displays in John Dungworth's Reserve side in the Pontin's Holidays Division I East and was on duty in the 2-1 win over Boston in midweek.
"It's been good to be on the bench for the last couple of months or so and, as I've said, it meant a lot to get on at the stadium last week, so I'm just staying really positive and aiming to play well.
"The win against Bournemouth was a good one for us and now we've got to look for the consistency to make a real surge up the table.
"There's no reason why we can't challenge for the top six and even automatic promotion if the run is long enough, so there are some massive games coming up."