RYAN Noble would have happily swapped his midweek double for Sunderland’s reserves for a match-winning brace at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
It was in front of Pools boss Neale Cooper on Thursday that the 20-year-old produced two cool finishes to see home a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough.
Within 24 hours Cooper had made his move, re-signing Noble on a one-month loan deal.
But the striker’s killer touch evaded him at Gresty Road as, with the score at 1-1, he spurned a pair of one-on-one situations.
“I had a couple of good chances and I should have put them away,” Noble told SportMail.
“I got a couple of goals against Middlesbrough, but I’d rather have scored them on Saturday.
“It’s so annoying – those normally go in, but it wasn’t my day.
“If I put those away then we win 2-1 or 3-1 and they don’t come back from it.”
He went on: “For the first one, I saw the defender come towards me, so I stepped past him and I’m in on goal.
“I’ve blasted it to the bottom corner and thought I’d scored, but it’s hit the keeper’s shoulder or arm and gone over.
“He’s not even tried to save it, he’s just been hit by it.
“The second one, I’ve gone for the bottom corner again and it’s going there, but the lad has kicked it off the line.
“So it stayed 1-1 and then they put a ball over into the area and we don’t defend it well enough and they’re ahead – it was frustrating.”
Noble was at the heart of everything good about Pools in the final third against The Railwaymen as they bossed the opening exchanges, duly taking the lead through Evan Horwood.
But a string of chances went begging, allowing the hosts a route back into the game.
“We had so many chances, put them away and we win,” Noble went on.
“We played well and deserved something but not taking the chances cost us the game.
“The lads were well up for it and we were positive.
“We got an early goal and had more chances, but it wasn’t our day.
“But I think you can see that we’re playing okay and we deserved something from the game on Saturday.”