Mark Oxley receives more praise from Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver following penalty heroics at Leyton Orient

Mark Oxley received yet more praise from Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver following Tuesday night’s 2-0 success at Leyton Orient.

By Rhys Howell
Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 7:24 pm
Harrogate Town goalkeeper Mark Oxley. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town goalkeeper Mark Oxley. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The 30-year-old goalkeeper was instrumental in the Sulphurites winning both of their opening two League Two fixtures of the campaign, producing a number of big saves during victories over Rochdale and Barrow.

And the former Southend United stopper was at it again in midweek, keeping out Harry Smith’s second-half spot-kick to earn himself a first clean-sheet in Town colours, while helping pave the way for his new club’s third triumph in as many matches.

“The penalty save was a big, big moment,” Weaver told the Harrogate Advertiser.

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Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.

“He’s done very well again. Watching him on Tuesday, there wasn’t a part of his performance that made you think ‘he needs to work on that’. He just looked a very good goalkeeper, silky really. He showed soft hands to deal with a lot of difficult balls into the box.

“I haven’t really seen him face too many penalties in training, but it can’t be easy trying to beat a goalkeeper of that size from the penalty spot when he has his arms stretched out.

“He’s just shown again that he has all the attributes of a top keeper. He has been a breath of fresh air in terms of his demeanour since he arrived at the club.”

Oxley endured a couple of difficult moments while he found his feet at his new home during pre-season.

But, the man signed to replace fans’ favourite James Belshaw as Town’s number one has been impressive since 2021/22 got underway.

And he continued his good form into Tuesday's match at Brisbane Road, making a good first-half stop to keep out a Smith header before his penalty heroics thwarted the same player from the spot after the break.