‘It’s been an excellent week for him’ – Oxborough celebrates new Canaries deal with superb save during U23s win
PUBLISHED: 19:15 15 April 2018 | UPDATED: 19:15 15 April 2018
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Under-23s head coach Matt Gill was delighted to see Aston Oxborough celebrate his new Norwich City contract with a crucial Carrow Road save.
The towering 19-year-old made a spectacular save to prevent Wolves equalising as City’s U23s held on for a 2-1 win in their latest Premier League Two game, after signing terms on a deal until 2020 this week, with the option of a further year.
“I just said to him in the dressing room, it was a fantastic double save,” Gill said, with Oxborough sharp to clear the loose ball after his save.
“It’s been an excellent week for him, a really well deserved new deal, he’s worked extremely hard this season, he is a great lad and an improving goalie – he’s been superb for us this year and the double save just summed up a great week for him.
“He’s over with Ed (Wooton, keeper coach) and the first-team goalies Micky (McGovern) and Angus (Gunn) and he’s really enjoyed it, and will continue to improve alongside those two.”
Goals from Tristan Abrahams and Marco Stiepermann, stepping up his injury comeback with the young Canaries, sent the dominant hosts into the break with a 2-0 lead.
“Some really pleasing things first half,” Gill continued. “The lads hadn’t had a competitive game for about four weeks, so to come out of the traps like we did with a really fast start, really pleased with that, going 2-0 up.
“Second half was always going to be slightly different, they were always going to try and have a go. We were a little bit disappointed with how we played second half and how it was a little bit of a grind but at the end of the day it was a 2-1 win.”
Stiepermann, 27, came off in the 72nd minute as he recovers from hernia surgery two months ago, playing in central midfield and scoring a classy chip which Wolves couldn’t keep out.
“Stiepy was really good,” the U23s boss added. “He actually hit the bar in the warm up with a little chip, so obviously he’s got excellent technical ability, it was a great finish, which was another good move to go along with Tristan’s goal in the first half.
“I don’t know how many passes we had but we really attacked quickly and he’s slotted it away nicely. So really pleased to get the two quick goals and I think we probably could have gone on and got more if we’d stayed at the same level we were at first half.”
Story of the match: Norwich City U23s 2 Wolves U23s 1
The Canaries included two trial players in their squad, with 19-year-old Barnsley defender Adam Lund playing the full 90 minutes, having a headed goal ruled out for offside and generally impressing – apart from conceding the free-kick which Oxborough kept out.
Saul Milovanovic, a 17-year-old midfielder who has been on the books at Huddersfield, also played the final stages after coming on for Stiepermann.
“Both boys did okay,” Gill concluded. “We’re always looking to strengthen as a club, it’s not particularly strengthening the under-23s team better, it’s about who can step in and maybe look to play in our first team quickly or who can go out and play first-team football (on loan).
“So it’s not a case of trying to make the 23s stronger, we need to make sure that the strategy is bringing in players with a view to playing in our first team or to play in somebody else’s first team.”