O’Hara relishing being thrown in at the deep end

Kieran O'Hara saves Jay Simpson's penalty.
Kieran O'Hara saves Jay Simpson's penalty.

Manchester United goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara is relishing being thrown in at the deep end during his time with Morecambe.

Having made his debut in the defeat at runaway leaders Northampton in January the teenage loanee was called into action just 12 minutes into the game at Leyton Orient on Saturday after Barry Roche’s red card.

O’Hara saved Jay Simpson’s penalty with his first touch before a string of fine saves looked like handing The Shrimps a point only for Ryan Edwards’ unfortunate late own goal to break their resistance in the 1-0 defeat.

The 19-year-old, who will be between the sticks when Roche serves a one-game ban against Plymouth on Good Friday, said: “Football League experience at my age and especially in my position is rare.

“I’ve been thrown in at the deep end with two of the tougher games and it has been difficult but no matter who you’re playing it’s a game of football and you’ve just got to stay focused.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here.

“I’m getting plenty of experience, learning new things and meeting new people and it can only be good for me.”

Despite making plenty of headlines on Saturday, O’Hara insists his fine display was little consolation on another frustrating day for The Shrimps.

He said: “It was good to come on and save a penalty but it’s not about individual performances.

“It’s about the team at the end of the day.

“That goal just sums our luck up recently. It was a tough one to take especially with the way it went in.

“You don’t want to concede goals like that. We’ve just got to take whatever positives we can into the next game.”

The penalty save that kicked off his career-enhancing performance came with a little help from Roche who was dismissed after felling Simpson as the striker looked set to score.

O’Hara said: “I kind of had an idea of the way he went down, he was the last man, that Baz was coming off.

“It was a case of ‘look, you’re on’ and I didn’t really think too much about it.

“As Baz was coming off I had a little word about the penalty and he said he was going right.

“I just threw myself that way and luckily it hit my leg and went over.”