OXLEY High School’s under 15s boys’ football side found a new hero in rookie keeper Toby Fox during a gripping penalty shootout win over Lismore’s Holy Trinity College in the Bill Turner Cup round of 32 clash in Tamworth
The young gloveman saved twice during the shootout and his teammates were perfect from the dot to win it 4-2 for Oxley after it was 1-all at fulltime and after extra time.
The Tamworth boys had to come from behind after Holy Trinity opened the scoring in the first half.
“It was a good game of football,” Oxley co-coach Wayne May said.
“They got one just before halftime and that was a bit of a killer for us.
“But we got the boys’ heads up at halftime.
“The game wasn’t over.”
May and co-coach Peter Maltby decided to push Zach Kam forward in the second half and it proved to be a good move.
He gave the defence a few headaches and, midway through the half, scored the equaliser with a good strike from the edge of the box.
“He just turned and hit,” May said.
“It was a beautiful goal.”
From that time on, Oxley lifted.
The goal broke Lismore’s dominance of the early stages of the first half and in the dying stages it was Oxley who created more chances.
“We created a couple of chances in the first half,” May said.
“But they started to knock the ball around well and we probably started to play their game a bit.
“We wanted to play with width.
“They had their best players in the middle and we wanted to keep it away from them.”
The golden goal drop-off sees both sides reduced to 10 players after five minutes, to nine after 10 and down to eight each after 15 minutes.
But after 20 extra minutes there was still no winner despite Oxley having arguably the best chance via Mitch Edwards.
“We could have won it in golden goal when we had a one-on-one with the keeper,” May said.
“Mitch is usually pretty deadly but it just came off the edge of his foot.”
Fox was asked to defend the first penalty in the shootout and couldn’t stop the first two.
Oxley slotted its first two through Dave Ifield and Edwards to make it 2-all.
Then Fox pulled off a great diving save to his right and Oxley went 3-2 up when Keegan Gillogly made no mistake.
Fox ensured Oxley’s advantage when he easily saved a mis-hit fourth Holy Trinity strike and the Oxley boys went wild as Matt Clark booted home the last penalty.
May said he thought about replacing Fox for the shootout but the young keeper said he was up for it.
“It’s only his first year in goals,” May said.
“I asked him before it whether he felt confident about it and he said ‘yes’.
“We could have put someone with more football experience in there but we kept him there.
“He did a great job.
“The third shot was a very good save.”
Oxley is now through to the last 16 in the competition after earlier wins over Carinya 6-0, Narrabri 5-1, Farrer 3-1 and Duval 2-1 in the regional final.
They now step up even
“There’s some good quality there now,” May said.
“But these guys were good quality too.
“It’s the third time we’ve played them now and after three games we’re up 2-1.
“But it’s always a good game with Holy Trinity.”
Oxley will play the winner of the game between St Columba Anglican School Port Macquarie and St Phillips Waratah in the last 16.