From injury horror at Halloween to Hamilton heroics on his Premiership debut less than seven months later.

It’s fair to say Jamie Smith has been to hell and back this season.

But it’s a journey he hopes will lead to a regular first team spot as Brian Rice ’s side prepare for life in the Championship next time round.

The teenage goalkeeper - the latest graduate from the renowned Accies Academy - began the campaign on loan at West of Scotland League side Rossvale in the sixth tier of Scottish football.

His season came crashing down when he dislocated his kneecap in a sickening collision against Irvine Meadow on October 31.

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Considering it was the second serious injury the 19-year-old had suffered then it was to prove the ultimate test of Smith’s mettle.

But he answered that by fighting back to make a dream top flight debut against Kilmarnock on Sunday - which included a stunning second half penalty save from Mitch Pinnock.

And he told Record Sport : “This is the stuff you dream of as a youngster.

“When the gaffer named the team on Saturday I was absolutely buzzing.

“There were nerves but I was controlling it quite well.

HAMILTON, SCOTLAND - MAY 16: Hamilton goalkeeper Jamie Smith saves Mitch Pinnock's penalty during the Scottish Premiership match between Hamilton and Kilmarnock at the FOYS Stadium, on May 16, 2021, in Hamilton, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

“My family were so happy for me and kept talking about it - it got to the point I had to tell them to stop talking to me about the game and my situation!

“I was saying ‘don’t tell me who you’ve told in the family or which friends you’ve been telling, just let me focus on the game’.

“It might sound selfish but that’s the way I needed to prepare.

“Unfortunately none of them were able to get to the game - that’s the situation we are in at the moment - but they were watching at home on Accies TV.

“It’s the perfect end to what had been an up and down season.

“I started on loan at Rossvale. They were brilliant with me and I appreciate everything they did.

“It was an introduction to senior football. Unfortunately I picked up the injury but in the games I played I felt I grew as a keeper.

“But the injury was a sore point. I had injured the knee quite badly back in 2016 in a school game.

“This time it was hellish. Coming in every day seeing the rest of the boys going out training, whether that was the first team or the Under-18s, it was depressing.

“Thankfully I’ve now been given this opportunity and it’s been brilliant.

“I’ve saved penalties before at youth level but to do it on my first team debut in a Premiership game is incredible.

“He arced his run and was left-footed so I took an educated guess where he was going to put it.

“He had a good delivery on him all through the game so I guessed he was going to whip it. Thankfully that’s how it worked out and I kept it out.

“That’s the stuff you dream of - getting your professional debut in the Premiership, last game of the season, saving a penalty.

“If we’d won it would have been perfect but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I’m still buzzing though, I won’t lie.”

Accies now head into the summer break preparing for life in the Championship.

But for Smith there’s not a moment to rest up with an Under-18 league clash against Dundee United coming up.

In fact he’s desperate to make up for lost time.

He said: “I’ve been playing Under-18s since I came back from the injury and I’ve had eight or nine games in the last few weeks so I wasn’t going into this blind.

“That’s helped me massively. To get my bearings again, seeing bodies in front of me, facing shots and crosses, to get my eye back in.

“I actually can’t wait to get back this week and play against Dundee United in the youth league.

“Pottsy the goalie coach is brilliant with me and congratulated me immediately after the final whistle on Sunday - but as soon as that was over it was ‘right, you're back in training on Monday night with the Under-18s for the game midweek’.

“There’s no chance I’ll get carried away that’s for sure!

“But now I’ve had a taste for it I obviously want more.

“I’ve a year left on my contract here so it’s a huge 12 months for me.

“I want to come in at pre-season and hit the ground running and have a right good year, injury free, trust that the people around me can get me in the best shape possible then hopefully I can come in and cause some stuff!”