A lack of regular minutes - but Portsmouth keeper shows he's not stagnating
Life as a second-choice keeper must be tedious at times.
You train all week, travel the length and breadth of the country on a Saturday and Tuesday evening – only to sit on the bench for 90 minutes.
It’s a situation Alex Bass has been in for a large chunk of his Pompey career.
He's somewhat of a Blues stalwart despite being 21 and making only five appearances.
Much of the stopper’s Fratton Park career has saw him acting as deputy to the likes of Brian Murphy, Paul Jones, Ryan Fulton, Luke McGee and most recently Craig MacGillivray.
Bar spending the 2016-17 campaign on loan at Salisbury, Bass has had limited regular football.
Last term, his move to Torquay was disrupted by a knee injury before being recalled in December by Kenny Jackett after McGee sustained a wrist problem.
And while Bass has leapfrogged the former Spurs man in the pecking order at PO4, he’s still some distance behind MacGillivray.
There’ll be concerns from some supporters that the academy graduate isn’t developing as quickly as he should be by playing the No2 role.
If Bass’ performance against Crawley is anything to go by, however, that’s not the case.
The Eastleigh youngster demonstrated he’s continuing his promising progress and is shaping into a confident keeper.
Bass was called into action twice within the opening 10 minutes, making two impressive saves.
The first was a powerful low drive from Josh Payne which, although may have been heading wide, Bass got down to smother.
Two minutes later, he was forced to produce an even better stop.
The Reds broke on a swift counter-attack, with Mason Bloomfield cracking an effort which was acrobatically thwarted around the left-hand post.
There was less to do for Bass in the second half, although he had to be alert on one occasion.
In the 59th minute, Ashley Nadesan rushed towards a through ball but the Pompey stopper was quickly off his line to cut out the danger.
With the Southend game being postponed on Saturday, it means the Huntingdon-born ace is denied successive appearances donning the star & crescent.
Nonetheless, he displayed why he’s so highly regarded by Kenny Jackett, goalkeeping coach John Keeley and his team-mates.
When MacGillivray returns from Scotland duty, Bass will again be demoted second fiddle.
But as we saw in the Crawley game, that doesn't at all mean his development will stagnate.