Appleton hails Josh Ashby as Oxford United youngster makes big impression in friendly win + match highlights

Josh Ashby (left) celebrates his goal with teammate Lewis Hayden, a member of the U’s youth team, in Saturday’s victory over Farnborough

Josh Ashby (left) celebrates his goal with teammate Lewis Hayden, a member of the U’s youth team, in Saturday’s victory over Farnborough

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

MICHAEL Appleton reserved special praise for Josh Ashby after the teenager finished off an impressive week by scoring the winner for Oxford United on Saturday.

The highly-rated midfielder, who signed his first professional contract in February, scored with a free-kick as the U’s began their pre-season fixtures with a 2-1 win at Farnborough.

It was Appleton’s first game in charge and the head coach admitted Ashby, 18, had immediately caught the eye when he took over last Monday.

He said: “I’ve been really impressed with the kid since I walked through the door.

“From day one my first thought was ‘who is that? Tell me about him’.

He added: “The kid’s a talent.

“He sees a pass and that’s a talent in itself.

“Obviously you’ve got to deliver the pass, but he’s getting better all the time.

“You can see with a couple of years’ development and hopefully being around the first-team, we might have a player.”

Ashby, who struck the woodwork with an earlier free-kick but cleared the stand with a third attempt, was thrilled to find the net.

He said: “It was good to get a goal, especially a free-kick.

“I actually don’t practice them a lot. Last year I was on free-kicks towards the end and didn’t score.

“I haven’t really practised them, I do need to – did you see the third one?”

Farnborough’s goal came virtually from the kick-off following Ashby’s goal.

It was a sensational 60-yard effort from Lucas Enrique, catching out triallist goalkeeper Liam Roberts.

Appleton said: “It was a fantastic strike and you won’t see me pointing any fingers at Liam.

“He’s a 19-year-old who has probably only had 12 months coaching and I think he got caught in two minds with what he was going to do with it.”

The U’s boss was just happy to get through the game without picking up any new injuries.

Five senior players, including new signing Danny Hylton, David Hunt and Josh Ruffels, did not make the trip to Hampshire.

It is not cause for alarm, though, and all are expected to feature either at Oxford City tomorrow night or against Didcot Town on Saturday.

United should have a couple of new faces by then, with both Appleton and chief executive Mark Ashton saying on Saturday they were confident of sealing at least one deal before the City game.

Depending on progress made yesterday, the club may be in a position to unveil a new signing today.

Appleton also revealed the U’s were looking into taking the squad away for a short training break later this month, but acknowledged it might be too late to arrange.

Latest United news:

Oxford United foiled on deadline day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Appleton is determined to do his shopping earlier next summer after Oxford United were unable to land their top target before the transfer window shut last night.

Raynes sets sights on return in trophy tie

Oxford Mail: Michael Raynes is one of four U’s players to grow their hair to raise money for charity

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Raynes is among the Oxford United players hoping to benefit from a run-out in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Cheltenham Town tonight (7.45).

Oxford United: Deadline day update

Oxford Mail:

12:10pm Monday 1st September 2014

MICHAEL Appleton says Oxford United are in advanced talks with their top target, but there are no guarantees a deal will be finalised before the deadline closes tonight.

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's draw with Dagenham

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

11:24am Monday 1st September 2014

Oxford United got off the mark in Sky Bet League Two with a 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Dagenham draw leaves Oxford United boss with mixed emotions

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 1st September 2014

MICHAEL Appleton admitted he had never seen a game so wide open as Oxford United got off the mark with a topsy-turvy 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree