Oxford United goalkeeper Max Crocombe is aiming to build on the experience of facing West Bromwich Albion to make improvements in his game.
The 21-year-old starred on his second appearance of the season and came agonisingly close to helping the U’s pull off a Capital One Cup shock on Tuesday night.
After shrugging off a slightly nervous start, Crocombe was only beaten in 120 minutes by a Johnny Mullins own goal.
Crocombe saved two spot-kicks in the penalty shoot-out and almost kept out a third in sudden death, which would have seen the U’s go through at the Hawthorns.
Despite being disappointed to finish on the losing side, the New Zealander is looking to learn from taking on Premier League opposition.
He said: “I could’ve done better at the start. But the goal was really unfortunate, so looking at it from that perspective I’m happy.
“I can definitely improve, I’ve always known that and I wouldn’t say I’m the finished article by any stretch.
“But it was really great to be a part of it again and we’ve got a great thing going here I think.”
Crocombe got his chance at West Brom, and the first round win at Bristol City, because on-loan George Long was ineligible.
In the absence of Ryan Clarke, who has returned to light training following foot surgery, Long has played in all four Sky Bet League Two games so far.
But Michael Appleton could have a selection headache for Saturday’s home game against Dagenham & Redbridge following Tuesday night.
Crocombe was pleased to show United’s head coach what he could do under pressure, but knows competition to get in the first team is fierce.
He said: “Obviously he’s not seen me in many matches, but the prime focus is the team.
“I always do my job and give my all. I’m confident in what I do, but we’ve got another couple of great keepers here.”
AIDAN Hawtin, Callum O’Dowda and James Roberts were on target as Oxford United’s development side lost 4-3 at Southend United yesterday.
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