From Arsenal to Buckie, Dundee United’s new keeper Harry Lewis’ last two games could hardly have been more different.
The man signed on loan from Southampton last Friday made his bow as a Tangerine in the midweek 3-0 win at Highland League side Buckie Thistle.
And it was a far cry from his previous first-team outing against the mighty Arsenal in front of 31,288 at St Mary’s in an FA Cup fourth-round tie.
That night was one to forget for the Saints as Lewis was beaten five times — three times by Theo Walcott and twice by Danny Welbeck as the Gunners ruthlessly tore apart a second-string Southampton side.
Fast forward to Wednesday night and the 19-year-old’s next appearance was in front of 1,200 at Victoria Park, 612 miles from St Mary’s.
However, the confident youngster was delighted to make his debut for Dundee United and is determined to do what he can in the club’s bid to return to the Premiership.
Lewis said: “My last first-team game was against Arsenal in front of 30,000 so Wednesday was a little bit different!
“But that’s what it’s all about, learning and getting experiences like that and they’ll only make me a better player.
“It was a good experience and a good win for the boys.
“I’ve come to United to play first-team football and do a job for the club.
“I know the club want to win the league and that’s what I’m here for, to help in any way I can.
“Hopefully, that’ll be by playing first-team football week in, week out but I know my performances need to show I am ready for that and that I’m the best goalkeeper at the club.
“I’ve got to perform and show everybody what I can do in order to keep my place.
“The long-term goal is to get back to Southampton and get into the first team but right now I’m fully focused on Dundee United and winning the league this year.
“I’m just delighted there was a club willing to give me a chance.”
Lewis came in with manager Ray McKinnon already having signed fellow-keeper Deniz the same week but the 19-year-old isn’t afraid of a bit of competition for a first-team place.
With Cammy Bell heavily linked with a switch to Kilmarnock, that competition may ease soon but Lewis knows he has to work hard to keep the No 1 spot.
“There’s nothing wrong with a bit of competition — that can bring the best out of you,” added Lewis.
“We’ve got three quality goalkeepers backed up by Brett Long and Josh Donaldson so the competition here is good.
“The standard in training is very good, the goalies are all a tight-knit group, we enjoy working together and bringing the best out of each other.”
Sunday sees United with a chance to all-but secure qualification for the next round of the Betfred Cup if they can beat League Two Cowdenbeath at Tannadice.
After a clean sheet on debut despite not having much to do against the Highland League champions, Lewis is hopeful he’s done enough to keep his spot in the team.
“I’m looking forward to my first home game, if I’m picked.
“I was at Tannadice last week for the game but I am looking forward to running out and getting that welcome.
“You look at the away following on Wednesday, I was very surprised because it’s not a short trip so I was very impressed by the away following and looking forward to seeing most of those faces again on Sunday.”