ALFIE Potter should shrug off his penalty miss in Oxford United’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy shoot-out defeat last night, according to Sean Rigg.
The winger was the only player not to convert from 12 yards, as Daniel Bentley’s save proved decisive in Southend United’s victory.
It was unfortunate for the U’s, who fought back from 1-0 and 3-2 down to force penalties thanks to an 89th-minute goal from Rigg, which saw the area semi-final finish 3-3 after 90 minutes.
Rigg was one of three United players to score in the shoot-out and felt Potter, whose late goal won the first-round tie over Swindon Town in September, should not get too down about the setback.
He said: “I feel a lot for Alfie. Obviously he’s disappointed, but he hasn’t got to worry about that because he’s been magnificent in this competition and the league.
“It’s nothing to do with him, that’s just how it goes sometimes.”
For once, goalkeeper Ryan Clarke could not enhance his reputation for saving penalties, although he came close with three of the five efforts.
Rigg said: “Clarkey was really unlucky. We thought he had saved at least one of them when he dived the right way, but unfortunately they snuck in.”
The shoot-out overshadowed an excellent game, which saw an unfamiliar U’s line-up show good character against a strong Southend side.
Assistant manager Mickey Lewis said: “It was thrown together a bit, but we weren’t putting players in lightly, it was because people weren’t fit.
“I think they did themselves proud.
“Penalties are always a bit of a lottery, we’ve won two shoot-outs already this season, but it wasn’t our night.”
Teenager Tyrone Marsh capped his first appearance at the Kassam Stadium with a goal.
Lewis added: “We always preach in training about following up and getting tap-ins.
“Alfie did great with the cross, it was a good header from Riggy and Tyrone was there in the right place.
“Top strikers will get five or six goals like that a season.”