Baby steps for Darren Lok. For a player whose 2017 season only really started in July, the striker has to take everything that comes his way in his stride.
Coming back from a big injury earlier in the season, Darren has only started full training in the past two months. In between, when things higher up in Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) goes through changes - from Mario Gomez to Benjamin Mora to Ulisses Morais, it is hard on a player who can't prove his worth to his coach.
However, things have taken a turn for the better this month after he started the match against Terengganu and against Selangor in Tuesday's Malaysia Cup tie, Darren got his second appearance of the season.
A good headed goal to level the score at 2-2 scored his predatory instincts to be in the right place at the right time. More than that, Darren also showed real desire to get his head onto the ball despite being crowded out by Selangor markers.
"Of course it is disappointing. First half we didn't play as well as we would have liked. Second half we play better as a team but it was too late."
"We did create some good chances. We showed some character in the second half but it unfortunately, it wasn't enough and we lost," said Darren to Goal after the match.
His goal in the 69th minute opened his account for the season but the rustiness in his game meant that when a second chance came around just minutes later, he was unable to convert it. A beautiful turn to give Razman Roslan the slip before selling Rizal Fahmi the dummy, Darren failed to pick the right spot and ultimately saw his shot blocked by Khairulazhan Khalid.
It was the moment that could have turned Darren into the toast of the team. A team that struggled in the first half and never got going until Gabriel Guerra and Gonzalo Cabrera were introduced after the half time break.
"Obviously I was pleased to get my first goal but I need to work a lot because I should have scored that second chance," he added.
Provided Darren stays fit for the rest of the season, he is likely to get more game time after Morais promises not to give up on his intentions to fully utilise the entire JDT squad for the remaining matches in the Super League and Malaysia Cup.
As the saying goes, better late than never.