Young defender Tyler Forbes triumphed over personal tragedy, making his Fleetwood Town debut at Yeovil just days after the death of his mother.
The 18-year-old was thrown in at the deep end for Town’s 1-0 victory at Huish Park, a result which ended a run of seven straight away defeats for Graham Alexander’s side.
Forbes, a member of the Highbury development squad, travelled to Somerset despite the passing of his mother on Tuesday.
His story clearly moved manager Graham Alexander, who paid tribute to his former Deepdale youth team charge.
He said: “Tyler’s aggressive and a very good one-one-one defender. He’s confident and good on the ball.
“I had him in the youth team at Preston before he got released.
“He was more of an attacking player, a winger.
“We tried him at full-back six or seven weeks ago, knowing we were going to lose Conor McLaughlin to international duty (with Northern Ireland) over the season.
“Tyler gave us the things we need from a full-back in our formation.
“He gets forward, gets back and wants to be aggressive.
“It’s been a massive week for him. His mum passed away on Tuesday, so it was a tough time.
“He didn’t take a day off and his dad travelled down with him. And to play like he did was unbelievable.”
Alexander now hopes to see the teenager develop at Highbury and believes he has what it takes to challenge McLaughlin, who again played for his country in Friday’s defeat in Romania, for the right-back shirt.
Forbes couldn’t have a better mentor than his manager, one of the Football League’s most experienced right-sided defenders.
And the Town boss admitted he was jealous of the Forbes’ qualities.
He added: “I wish I had his pace! He’s got a great attitude. He wants to win and be a success.
“I now feel we’ve got two young right-backs in the squad. It’s genuine competition for Conor. That’s how I want them both to see it.
“Tyler can’t just be a one-game wonder. It’s got to be a stepping stone to a long and successful career.
“That’s what we want from him and we’ll give him all the support he needs.”