Producing the goods in front of 17,000 fans made Trevor Carson feel like a “proper” footballer again.
The Northern Irishman was in outstanding form against former club Portsmouth, keeping the promotions chasers at bay, while playing a massive part in securing a much-needed point for Hartlepool United on the road.
It is special playing in a ground like that in League Two
And Carson says it was satisfying to perform in front of such a big crowd, a rare sight in the fourth tier of English football.
Reflecting back on the 0-0 draw, and his time at Fratton, where he spent a season back in 2013/14, the Hartlepool goalie said: “I loved playing at that ground.
“I have missed playing in front of such a big crowd.
“Batesy (Matthew Bates) was saying that after the game, too.
“He knows it more than me having played in the Premier League for Middlesbrough, but it makes you feel like a proper footballer again.
“It is one of my old clubs, but I have been too a few old clubs.
“It is special playing in a ground like that in League Two.
“It doesn’t feel any more special getting the result.”
It’s fair to say Pools stood up and were counted, having come in for some criticism in recent weeks.
“This was a lot more like it,” said Carson.
“Every one of the players stood up to it. They won everything. The lads were outstanding.
“Getting a point and a clean sheet is massive for us.
“I don’t think I was overly busy. There have definitely been busier keepers at Fratton Park this season. But when I had to make my saves I did so.
“It is a great feeling to play my part in a big point.”
Speaking to the Mail last week, Carson admitted that he is deeply embarrassed by Pools defensive record.
Another statistic that annoys him is that he’s conceded the most goals per minute of any keeper in the division.
Only his second clean sheet in seven has went some way to mending that.
“The goals against is not good. We concede a lot of goals but we’re not sulking about it,” he said.
“Another clean sheet next week would be good. In fact another 25 or 26 would do.”