Modest FA Cup hero Conor O’Malley admits his penalty shootout brilliance for Posh at Bradford City on Tuesday (December 11) helped mask an indifferent personal display.
First-team chances have been few and far between for the 24 year-old Irishman this season due to the summer signing of Aaron Chapman from Accrington Stanley.
He’s not even been able to sit on the substitutes’ bench for most League One matches because Posh have been forced to use goalkeeping coach Mark Tyler to satisfy an FA requirement for one homegrown player in a matchday squad.
But three excellent penalty saves as Posh won the shootout 3-2 at Valley Parade ensured O’Malley ended the night as a club star.
“Winning on penalties is probably the best feeling in football apart from scoring a last-minute winner,” O’Malley said. “Obviously I was happy to make some saves and the fact that we managed to win after conceding some sloppy goals was a relief.
“My decision-making wasn’t the best at times during the match. I had some mad moments like for the first goal when I came too far out. I did the same in the second half and managed to get away with it. Normally my decision making is better than that so I was pleased I had the chance to make amends.
“Credit to Mark Tyler (goalkeeping coach) as he had given me all the information on the penalty takers and it paid off.
“It has been a tough season for me so far. I was a bit surprised not to get on the bench for League One matches, but I understood why.
“Substitute goalkeepers are rarely used so the chance to get six good outfield players on the bench was not good for me, but it was good for the team.
“I’ve had a couple of runouts in the cups recently which I’ve enjoyed and I will just try and play as manay games as I can and see where it takes me.”
O’Malley has played in three of the four Posh Checkatrade Trophy matches this season as well as Tuesday’s FA Cup tie.
The 2017 recruit from Irish football made 18 first-team appearances last season including nine in League One.