For the last four weeks, Angus Thurgate has been a frustrated onlooker.
All that frustration of gaining no game time for the Newcastle Jets since February 15 was all forgotten when he scored his maiden Hyundai A-League goal in their 3-2 win over Western Sydney.
And what a way to do it when his 82nd minute strike secured all three points for the team on Saturday night.
The 19-year-old's curling, right-footed, first-time effort from the edge of the area that nestled in the top right corner will be one he remembers forever.
"It just sat up for me, ricocheted off two players and I didn't even think about it; I just hit it and it went in," he said.
"It was a good relief, but it was better the team won."
The training drills the attackers had done repeatedly during the week with assistant coach Clayton Zane had paid off.
"If you're not scoring you can start to overthink things, but it's repetition and making sure it's a natural thing to see the ball and then strike it," Thurgate said.
The attacking midfielder admitted it had been a challenging last month and a half when he had been left out of coach Ernie Merrick's top squad.
"It's out of your control," he said.
"It did get a bit frustrating during the middle part of the season with results not going our way, but we had a full squad to pick from and there are plenty more experienced players ahead of me.
"If you get an opportunity you've got to try and be ready to take it.
"All you can do is keep working hard at training and make sure the boss has belief in you to put you out there."
Thurgate entered the match as a 69th minute substitute and rewarded the coach with the winner.
"I'm starting to feel more comfortable (in the A-League), but I'm going to take every opportunity I can."
It has been a season of firsts for the former Port Saints junior whose form earned him the nickname the "Port Macquarie Pele" on social media.
He played in his first Asian Champions League match in the Jets' 3-1 win over Persija Jakarta in February before he backed up three days later to start in his first-ever A-League match.
I'm starting to feel more comfortable (in the A-League), but I'm taking to take every opportunity I can.Angus Thurgate
Thurgate also scored his first-ever senior goal against Sydney FC in the pre-season.
"Working hard to try and get stable game time will be my goal for next season," he said.
"Ernie's trying to build a platform for next season and trying to get more experiences into the younger lads in the team."
Merrick indicated Thurgate and a number of the Jets young guns would see more game time in their final three matches of the season.
"Now that we are going to struggle to make the finals, it's time to give some of these boys a run. Next year they could play a major part," he said after the win on Saturday.
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