When Bartosz Bialkowski was withdrawn from Saturday's clash with Leyton Orient, there were some concerned looking faces in the away section.
The reliable number one has been one of the team's best performers this term but a nasty challenge in the 12th minute saw him taken to hospital with a head injury.
His replacement was 18-year-old youth team graduate Fabian Spiess, who had made just one brief substitute appearance for the Magpies prior to the O’s encounter.
It did not take the German long to show what he was capable of, as he produced a fine reflex save to deny Charlie MacDonald, a player that many felt should have been sent off for the foul on Bialkowski.
In the second half, the stopper pulled off even more top stops, including a remarkable parry to keep out Lee Cook’s twice deflected free-kick.
Although disappointed by the 2-1 loss, Spiess admitted that he had been desperate for a chance to shine and show that he is capable of performing in npower League 1.
“I thought I did well on the whole, I made some good saves but I could have done better with some of the decision making,” he told Magpie Player.
“I’m only young at the end of the day and I’ll learn from my mistakes.
“I want to do good for myself and Notts County, and hopefully I did that on Saturday and impressed the manager so that he can play me in the next game on Tuesday.
“I’ve always been prepared for it, ever since I signed a professional contract and even last year when I was a youth team player.
“Bart’s been doing very well and that’s why I’ve not had my chance, which has been frustrating for me, because I’m young and I want to play games.
“Now hopefully I can get my chance and prove to everybody that I can do it consistently, week in, week out.”
Spiess was complimentary of the coaches that helped to prepare him for the biggest challenge of his career to date.
The likes of head of youth Mick Leonard, youth team coach Brett Adams and youth goalkeeper coach Lee Broster were a big part of the stopper’s development.
He said: “It’s very pleasing for myself and I’m sure that it’s very pleasing for the youth department.
“Bros and Brett and Mick, they’ve all worked really, really hard to get me up to this standard, and then it’s down to myself.
“I’ve worked hard with Pilks and hopefully I’ve done everyone proud.”
Bialkowski has been released from hospital, after having seven stitches in his head, but remains a doubt for Tuesday night's meeting with Portsmouth.
For the full interview with Spiess, sign in to Magpie Player.