Dave Richards is hoping for a run in the Crewe Alexandra side after making crucial saves in the 1-1 draw at Mansfield.
The number one has had to be patient since a broken finger ruled him out of action just days before the start of the season, and loan man Arthur Okonkwo excelled.
But Okonkwo was unavailable for the trip to Derbyshire after returning to parent club Arsenal to explore other loan moves, and Richards was given the nod.
He made two point-blank reaction saves in the second half that were key to earning The Railwaymen a share of the spoils.
Richards said: “It was my first league game in six or seven months but I felt good, I’ve been preparing right.
“I was rusty in the first five-10 minutes but after that I felt fresh and ready.
“I didn’t feel nervous, I saw the ball clearly and made two good saves in the second half which helped earn us a point.
“Arthur did brilliant for us, so I had to bide my time - that’s the life of a goalie. But I’ve been putting in the training, working hard with Fred (Barber), I’ve been doing extra sessions in the afternoons and going to the gym at night.
“I’ve not been slacking; I’ve worked hard and hopefully I'll get my chance to kick-on again now.
“I have to continue with what I’m doing to get stronger, faster, fitter, better, and most importantly, keep the ball out of the goal.”
Richards, 29, has made 84 appearances for Crewe since joining from Bristol City in 2015.