FROM Bower Fold to his Barnsley debut, it is all in a month’s work for Jack Walton.
The rookie goalkeeper was the shock name in the Reds’ line-up at Nottingham Forest, with his previous league appearance coming for Stalybridge Celtic in their Evo-Stik Premier home game with Warrington Town on March 24.
Recalled by his parent club from his loan after Nick Townsend injured his finger in a training-ground altercation with Dimitri Cavare, Walton found himself in the starting line-up ahead of first-choice goalkeeper Adam Davies in a proverbial baptism of fire.
His display was the sole positive to take from the Reds’ poor 3-0 loss and despite a memorable time which saw him impress with some key saves, he would have preferred it if he had been less busy and the scoreline different.
Walton, told on Tuesday morning that he would be starting and now eyeing a home debut against Brentford, said: “It was a good experience and a big moment to make my debut, although I am disappointed about the result. In the position that the team are in, we needed three points.
“I wish that I did not have any saves and we won 1-0 really. I made the saves, but was obviously disappointed about the result. We are in a difficult situation.”
I wish that I did not have any saves and we won 1-0 really. I made the saves, but was obviously disappointed about the result. We are in a difficult situation.Jack Walton
On his promotion, Walton added: “My role as No 2 was to push Adam and try and get his place and that is what number twos are for. I feel like I have been doing well in training and I am happy I have got the reward for the hard work I have put in.
“It has helped me being on the bench and getting that experience in and around the squad and being out on loan at Bower Fold has given me some ‘men’s football’ and prepared me for this moment.”
After starting his career at Bolton, Walton is hoping to upset a few Wanderers supporting friends in the process, with both sides fighting for their Championship lives.
“I had a few texts on my phone, although I did not speak to anyone (on Tuesday). At the end of the day, we want to stay in the Championship and that is our priority,” he added.