Goalkeeper Paul Smith was delighted to finally make his Southend United bow last night against AFC Wimbledon.
The Blues stopper replaced the on loan Cameron Belford in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after signing on a free transfer last month.
And after making his debut, Smith now hopes to keep hold of the number one jersey.
“I have been training the last few weeks working towards this so I was hoping it would come round soon,” Smith told the official website.
“I have come to the club to play as many first team games as I can so it is frustrating not to have played yet.
“But I did need that little bit more time in training to get my sharpness together.
“The manager decided to put my in last night and it was a decision well made I’d say!”
Smith played the full 90 minutes against the Wombles, his first appearance in competitive football for just over 12 months.
The 32-year-old was released at the end of last season by Nottingham Forest following six-years at the City Ground.
And having enjoyed his first taste of action in a Southend shirt, a last gasp 2-1 win, the custodian now hopes to hold onto the number one jersey against Dagenham and Redbridge.
“We have a good goalkeeping department and everyone wants to be wearing the number one jersey but we will have to wait and see what happens on Saturday,” he said.
“I have only been at the club a short time but I have seen we have winners here and it is that sort of attitude that helps you get winning goals in the final 30 seconds.
“It was looking like penalties at one stage but I am quite happy with the way it turned out with a good result and being in the draw for the next round.”
Supporters can learn who Southend United will face in the second round this Saturday when the draw takes place on Soccer AM between 10am and 10:30am.