LOCAL HERO Conor O’Malley from Westport is pictured presenting a bouquet of flowers to his mother Brenda during a visit to Westport United earlier this year. Pic: Frank Dolan
WESTPORT native Conor O’Malley was the hero in Peterborough United’s FA Cup tie away to Bradford City last Tuesday night — saving three spot-kicks in a penalty shoot-out!
The 24 year-old from Carrowkennedy pulled off numerous saves in regulation time to keep his team in the game. And when he was called upon in the shoot-out, O’Malley came into his own, making three vital penalty saves to help Peterborough progress to the third round.
Last Tuesday’s game was an eight-goal thriller at Valley Parade with the sides finishing 4-4 after a pulsating 120 minutes.
O’Malley, a former Mayo minor Gaelic football goalkeeper, transferred to Peterborough from St Patrick’s Athletic for an estimated €100,000 in 2017.
After the game, O’Malley told ‘ThePoshTV’ that he ‘couldn’t be happier’ after his heroic exploits had helped United to set up a third round clash with Middlesborough.
“Winning on penalties is probably the best feeling in football, unless it’s a last-minute winner maybe,” he said. “But especially after a game where we conceded so many sloppy goals and didn’t take our chances either, so it’s nice to put it to bed.”
O’Malley admitted there were a ‘few moments of madness’ during the 120 minutes of action, and admitted that ‘my decision making wasn’t up to where it normally is’. He also reflected on his season so far, adding that he has found it difficult with the unusual battle he faces for a spot in the Peterborough United match-day squad.
Because of a Football League rule that requires at least one homegrown player in the match-day squad, Peterborough have been forced to name goalkeeping coach, Mark Tyler, on the bench at the expense of the Mayo man.
“It probably makes sense if we can get six good outfield players,” he said. “The amount of times the keeper comes off the bench is minuscule. It is what it is. It’s not great for me but it’s probably better for the team.
“It’s been tough, to be honest. But it’s good to get a win and we just have to keep going forward.”
But O’Malley is as determined as ever, adding that he is ‘pushing for another place in the starting line-up’ and saying that he just wants ‘to get as many games as I can’.
His heroics last week will have made him a firm favourite with The Posh’s fans too!