SIMON Eastwood was delighted with his first Oxford United clean sheet in the league since February 2020.

The goalkeeper last kept one in the 3-0 home win against Accrington Stanley, which was just three days after the 1-0 win at Ipswich Town.

Portman Road was again the scene for an Eastwood shutout on Saturday, with a wonderful low save from Ipswich top scorer Macauley Bonne early in the second half a highlight for the 32-year-old.

Eastwood lost his place to Jack Stevens following the derby defeat to Swindon Town last November, however when Stevens was taken ill with glandular fever last month, Eastwood was able to reclaim his place.

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He said: “It’s been a long time so it’s nice to get a clean sheet and playing again.

“It’s a tough place to come. If they got one, they could’ve scored three or four.

“You can see the quality in them but we held out and could’ve nicked it ourselves, I think a point is a good result.

“It was a good game, end to end stuff, and at the start of the game, we’d have taken a point.

“You want to win the game but you also don’t want to lose the game.

“I thought they were the better side in the second half and had a lot more possession than us.

“Overall the result is probably fair, both teams had half decent chances.”

Eastwood was certainly helped by his back four in keeping a clean sheet, with that unit of Sam Long, Elliott Moore, Jordan Thorniley and Steve Seddon looking settled.

Eastwood said: “They did well, they’ve been defending well and my first clean sheet for a long time so that’s nice to get.

“To have a set back four in front of you is nice.

“For me personally, to play consistently is nice and to get back in a bit of a rhythm.”

Read also: Robinson praises Oxford United defence after goalless draw

Eastwood will now look to solidify his position as number one at the club, especially with more big games on the horizon.

He said: “It sprung upon me really with what happened to Jack, but Jack’s improving which is good so it’s great for competition.

“You want to play games like Ipswich away and Wigan away, they’re the games you play in the Championship.

“It’s [Portman Road] one of the grounds you want to come to, the lads walked out and it’s a proper ground with proper fans.

“This is why you want to play, when you’re growing up and want to be a professional footballer, this is definitely one of the better grounds you want to go to.

“There’s a lot of games coming up, a big FA Cup game on Tuesday night, so it’s up to the gaffer and see if he changes the team.”