Craig MacGillivray statistically the best goalkeeper in League One after stunning last minute heroics against Oxford United

By Freddie Webb

Statistics show Craig MacGillivray is the best goalkeeper in League One after Portsmouth’s 1-0 win against Oxford United.

The Scotsman – who made three stoppage time saves at the Kassam Stadium to secure Pompey’s 12th clean sheet of the season – has analytically prevented the most goals in the league.

Behind the goal footage of MacGillivray’s last minute saves against Oxford United. Credit: Oxford United.

Speaking to Hampshire Live post-match, assistant manager Joe Gallon praised MacGillivray’s shot stopping capabilities which guaranteed three points.

He said: “He has been very consistent for us this season, Craig. He is a very consistent person and plays in a consistent fashion.

“I think shot stopping is probably his biggest forte. He is very sharp in terms of his diving and making saves and having said that, that is his job.

“I would say that he has done very well and kept us with three points. We deserved the three points, but Craig has done very well, as he has done all season.”

Goals prevented is a metric which tells us how many goals a keeper has saved given the quality of the shots on target he has faced, compared to the average League One keeper.

The figure is shown by comparing the number of expected conceded goals (xCG) – which measures the probability of a shot being scored – to the number of goals conceded.

According to the data platform Wyscout, MacGillivray has prevented 8.38 league goals this season, 2.05 more goals prevented than Sunderland’s Lee Burge.

Craig MacGillivray has an xCG of 35.28 in the league this season (measuring the quality of shots on target he has faced. Portsmouth have only conceded 27 goals this season. Credit: Wyscout.

This is hardly surprising to the Fratton Faithful due to the Harrogate born shot-stopper regularly making key saves and securing clean-sheets, including his stoppage time heroics on Tuesday.

Gallon was disappointed Pompey had to rely on MacGillivray to save the win in stoppage time because he thought Oxford would not create any clear-cut chances.

He told Hampshire Live: “I didn’t quite see that coming, maybe we should have changed the formation a little bit but it didn’t feel like there was chances or goals coming for Oxford, that is how I felt during the evening but obviously in the last few minutes, I don’t know what quite happened until I look at the video, which I will do. “I was disappointed that we had to call on Craig to make some saves because it didn’t look like it was coming.”

Credit: Portsmouth FC

Main Photo: Portsmouth FC

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