Clarke hoping for a quiet game after having a hand in Oxford United win

Ryan Clarke shouts instructions in the win at Plymouth Argyle, where he made vital saves last weekend  Picture: David Fleming

Ryan Clarke shouts instructions in the win at Plymouth Argyle, where he made vital saves last weekend Picture: David Fleming

First published in Sport Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

AFTER taking centre stage last weekend with one of the best saves of his career, Oxford United goalkeeper Ryan Clarke would be happy to be out of the spotlight this afternoon.

A spectacular goal from James Constable killed off ten-man Plymouth Argyle with half an hour remaining on Saturday.

The 2-0 victory marked a return to form for the U’s, but with the way they confidently closed out the game, it would have been easy to overlook the role played by United’s No 1.

With the score at 1-0, Clarke made two superb one-handed saves.

The second stop, tipping Curtis Nelson’s header on to the crossbar, was one of the goalkeeper’s very best.

“It’s up there, with the circumstances as well being 1-0 up,” he said.

“I didn’t have a great deal to do compared to a few other games, but there were two important moments and it was nice to play a part in helping the boys get a result.

“The ball seemed about half a yard behind me, so when I touched it on to the crossbar it was nice it bounced on our side and someone was there to clear.

“Everyone knows we’ve not been on a great run and hopefully that’s a turning point and gives us a bit of momentum.”

The win took United back into the play-off places, overtaking this afternoon’s opponents, York City.

Clarke was delighted to play his part at Home Park, but would settle for a quieter 90 minutes this time.

He said: “I’d take that and just have a couple of kicks to do.

“I’ve had a couple of games like that this year where we’ve been really dominant.

“It’s a big home game and hopefully with a big following behind us that’ll be the case, but if I’m called upon I’ll be ready.”

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With a trip to Scunthorpe on Monday, the 31-year-old is aiming for a bumper Easter.

He said: “We’ll look to get maximum points to cement ourselves in the play-offs and hopefully it doesn’t go down to the last game of the season.”

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