SLAVI Spasov’s calmness under pressure impressed Karl Robinson as the teenager became Oxford United’s youngest goalscorer.

The head coach, serving a touchline ban, shouted down from the stands for the 16-year-old to take a late penalty against Fulham Under 21s in the Checkatrade Trophy last night.

Several senior players had already made it clear they wanted the spot-kick, but Spasov took his chance from 12 yards to seal a 3-0 win in the opening group game.

Robinson apologised to Tony McMahon, Jon Obika and Luke Garbutt after the game, who all wanted to step up, but the manager made the final decision to see how Spasov would react.

He said: “I know these young players have talent, but do they have the ability to take the pressure?

“That was big pressure for him, especially when the manager shouts down and you have to take it.

“You have to score, so we added a bit more pressure on the young man’s shoulders.

“I didn’t expect him to just strut in and tap it in the corner.

“He’s got a knack to do the right things at the right time.

“He hit the post as well, so he knows where to be and that’s something you can’t teach.”

In finding the net, Spasov, who was born in Bulgaria but moved to the UK five years ago, took Oxford United’s title as the club’s youngest scorer from Jason Seacole, who had held it since 1977.

At 16 years 226 days he missed out on the overall record, held by Graham Atkinson for Headington United, while he became the club’s third youngest player to make an appearance, which was only set last month by Fabio Lopes.

Spasov’s parents and brother were in the sparse crowd to watch his achievement, but the teenager was doing a good job of keeping his feet on the ground.

He said: “To make your debut as a 16-year-old and top it off with a goal, there’s no better feeling.

“I’m more happy with the win and that I’ve scored rather than it making me the youngest player.

“That’s a bonus. I am excited, but I’ve just got to hope it’s the first of many.

“Just because you’ve scored one it doesn’t mean you’ll get more unless you work hard and impress to get an opportunity.”