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Smalley's fine finish down to cramp
DEANE Smalley admitted the composed finish for his strike at Hartlepool United was not quite what it seemed.
The striker scored Oxford United’s crucial second goal, coolly slotting home Alfie Potter’s pass to set up a 3-1 victory.
It was the 25-year-old’s fourth of the season, but Smalley conceded there was more to the shot than met the eye.
He said: “I thought Alfie was going to shoot, but luckily enough I got myself in a little space.
“Then I got a bout of cramp just before the ball came to me.
“That’s why I didn’t try to manoeuvre the ball, it was just a case of touching it and shooting.
“If I didn’t have it I would have tried to go past the man and shot, but luckily enough I got cramp in my calf.
“I didn’t even realise I took my time and to be fair it bobbled in. “I could have got a bit more power on it, but it went right in the corner where the keeper couldn’t reach it.”
Still working his way back to full match fitness, Smalley was substituted for Scott Davies late on.
He was slightly frustrated to watch from the sidelines as his replacement won a penalty in stoppage time.
Had he been on the pitch the striker would have wanted the chance to net his fifth goal of the season, but Asa Hall did the honours to make it 3-1.
Smalleye said: “If I was on maybe there would have been a little fight between me and Asa, but hopefully I would have got to the ball first.
“To be fair, it was a good penalty to kill the game off.”
The scoring was opened in the fifth minute by Ryan Williams.
On loan from Fulham, it was the teenage winger’s first goal in professional football and Smalley admired the curled finish.
“It was a brilliant start,” he said.
“Ryan is like that day-in, day-out in training and he showed what a good player he is.”