Modest Mark Oxley was just doing his job during Harrogate Town's win over Rochdale AFC

Modest Mark Oxley insisted he was just doing what he is paid for, despite producing two fine saves on his Harrogate Town debut.

By Rhys Howell
Monday, 9th August 2021, 4:14 pm
Updated Monday, 9th August 2021, 4:20 pm
Harrogate Town goalkeeper Mark Oxley in action against Rochdale. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town goalkeeper Mark Oxley in action against Rochdale. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The 30-year-old goalkeeper, who arrived from Southend United this summer and took over the number one shirt at Wetherby Road, showed his quality as he denied Jake Beesley before half-time then Stephen Dooley late on to help the Sulphurites record a 3-2 opening-day win over Rochdale.

The second stop came with the game very much in the balance at 2-2 and was described by manager Simon Weaver as a "huge moment".

But, asked if he was pleased to have contributed two key saves on his first competitive appearance for the club, Oxley played down his role in Saturday's victory, replying: "The main thing was the three points, we wanted to get off to a good start.

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"In spells it wasn’t ideal, you want a clean-sheet don’t you, but at the end of the day, a win is a win and we’ve got use that to push on and hopefully set us up for a good season.

“The first save was almost a copy of the first goal, down to my right and luckily I managed to get down to it. Ryan [Fallowfield] was brilliant mopping up because otherwise their other lad was there to put it in, so fair play to him as well.

“I don’t really want to talk about the second one because I’m still a bit sore down there, but that’s my job at the end of the day, you’ve got to stand up and be counted, whichever part you save it with.

“I’m just delighted with the three points for the lads, everyone involved at the club and the fans - it was brilliant having them back."

Oxley played in front of a limited number of supporters during a couple of Town's pre-season friendlies, but Saturday was his first experience running out at the EnviroVent Stadium with a sizeable crowd in attendance.

“It’s not the biggest ground but the fans make up for it with the atmosphere they create," he added.

It’s a tight stadium, one of your more old-school stadiums and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“It was good having the fans back in and we’re pleased to send them off home with three points."

Oxley endured a couple of difficult moments in pre-season however he insists that he was boosted by his competitive debut, adding that he is thrilled to be a Harrogate Town player.

“Pre-season friendlies are about getting minutes. On your debut, everyone wants to start well and it’s just a case of being positive.

"I’m delighted to be here, it’s a fresh start for me, a move that worked out well for me and my family.

"Now, I'm just looking forward to us hopefully being able to build on that first win because I know this league pretty well and there's not much in it. Hopefully we can go on from here and have a good season."