Mark Oxley praised for quality of his goalkeeping during Harrogate Town's EFL Trophy win over Carlisle United

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver was quick to praise Mark Oxley following another excellent performance from his number one.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 11:48 am
Harrogate Town goalkeeper Mark Oxley warms up. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

Just as was the case when he pulled off a fine last-gasp save to deny Tranmere Rovers an equaliser in the Sulphurites' previous outing, the 31-year-old produced a number of big moments between the sticks to help his side record a 1-0 EFL Trophy success over Carlisle United.

Having made an important block in the first half of Tuesday night's last-16 tie and a more routine stop shortly after half-time, Oxley sprung to his right to keep out Brennan Dickenson's goal-bound long-ranger, then denied Jon Mellish one-on-one.

He kicked well as usual and also looked secure under high balls into his box, earning himself a glowing review from his manager at the full-time whistle.

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Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.

"As solid as we were as a back-four, Carlisle had a few good efforts and Mark Oxley had to show great expertise between the sticks," Weaver said.

"You can see the quality of the goalkeeper that we have. He can have a quiet night, but when called into action you can see he's a top-drawer goalkeeper. That's the skill of the man.

"The last two games, we've got through them and ended up winning because he has been on top form. Two fine saves in the second half kept us in a position where we were winning this game.

"He just seems to get there doesn't he, he seems to read situations. It lifts the players in front of him, and preserving a clean-sheet provides a platform. Those big moments from the goalkeeper, they are inspiring.

"To be honest, I'm just proud to be his manager because he's a gentle giant, but a big presence on and off the pitch."

Tuesday night's clean-sheet was the first Town have kept in seven attempts and just their second in 17 matches.