On-loan Middlesbrough keeper reacts to penalty save and Hartlepool United’s defeat to Notts County

Joe Fryer saves from the penalty spot from Shola Ameobi
Joe Fryer saves from the penalty spot from Shola Ameobi

Joe Fryer sets high standards between the sticks which, ultimately, spells good news for Hartlepool United as well as the keeper’s promising career.

Fryer could, and perhaps should, have been basking in the glory of his penalty save from former Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi on Saturday.

The Middlesbrough prospect, on loan at Pools for the rest of the season, dived to his right to get to the 35-year-old’s spot kick, pushing it onto his right post, from where Kenton Richardson wellied the ball clear.

It was a moment to savour, surely, for the 21-year-old.

Alas not, all Fryer could think about when he faced the media afterwards were the two goals he conceded at Meadow Lane.

Pools failed to stop Ameobi strolling onto Jorge Grant’s through ball within two minute of the re-start, the Geordie beating Fryer with a low shot.

Even if he could maybe have done better with that, there appeared little he could do with Grant’s 79th-minute screamer from 20 yards which went high into the away net.

But the goalie admitted the penalty stop, for now at any rate, was of little solace.

“It counts for nothing, I’ve let in two goals in the second half I should have saved,” he said.

Fryer said the result was the only thing that mattered to him and Pools.

“Everyone was gutted, we all definitely felt it was a game we should have taken all three points,” he said.

“We were comfortable and confident but two errors have cost us at the end of the day.

“I saved the penalty but I’m unhappy because I thought both goals I was capable of saving.

“The second goal was a good strike but I still think I should keep that out to be honest. I’ve made saves this season which have kept us in games and that was one I should have got.”

Fryer said the squad were devastated not to collect all three points from the 22nd v 21st confrontation.

“I thought we controlled things before they scored and while we got one back it wasn’t enough,” he said.

“I think we sensed an opportunity and we created some chances but at the end of the day we couldn’t do it.”

Fryer hopes a trip to Cambridge tomorrow night is an opportunity to make amends.

“You always seem to have another chance straight away to put things right in this league and we have to dust ourselves off for Cambridge,” he told SportMail.

“Everyone is disappointed by Notts County, but we have another game and we have to get back on it and look to get three points.”

Before Saturday’s set-back, Pools had appeared to have turned a corner with resounding home victories over Crewe (4-0) and Exeter (3-1).

“We have to remember the highs from those two games and take them into tomorrow night,” he said.

“We all felt Saturday was a game we could have got three points.”

And Fryer said Pools would not use a pre-match radical defensive re-shuffle as an excuse for the defeat.

Pools were hit by a huge blow before kick-off when Brad Walker was ruled out with an ankle injury.

With left-back Sean Kavanagh (hamstring) also missing and his would-be replacement Matthew Bates left at home with an ankle problem it left Pools light at the back.

Skipper Nicky Featherstone moved back from midfield to defence, playing alongside Scott Harrison and Liam Donnelly and the new-look unit was largely untroubled.

“There are no excuses,” said Fryer. “It’s still a game we felt we could have had three points.”