Norwich City academy player Jamar Loza impressed on a strong Southend United debut, scoring a fine individual goal in a 3-0 win over Oxford United.
Jamar Loza caught the eye of many a viewer in Monday evening's televised football match, which saw struggling League Two side Southend United earn their first win in fourteen games with an impressive 3-0 win over Oxford United.
The game was Gary Waddock's first as manager of Oxford United, having replaced Chris Wilder who departed the club to take the reigns at lowly Northampton Town.
Phil Brown's Southend side had drawn eight of their last thirteen, and turned to Jamar Loza, a 19-year-old Norwich City academy player, for inspiration.
Loza provided the inspiration that Brown so desperately craved to devastating effect. It was the youngster's home debut, after joining the Shrimpers on an emergency loan deal from the Premier League Canaries.
He had previously represented League One sides Coventry City and Leyton Orient, but had failed to notch his first senior goal in his previous six games.
From the outset, Loza's drive and strength caused the Oxford United defensive pairing of Sam Long and Jake Wright. A combination of raw pace and tricky footwork saw him earn Southend some early chances, ultimately leading to their early opener, which was converted by Will Atkinson.
The former Bradford City man benefited from Loza's tireless running on the left flank, before he hit a low cross that eventually found its way to the midfielder's feet, after a miscued Michael Timlin attempt after just nine minutes.
Loza was far from done, however.
Just eight minutes later, Southend doubled their advantage after Loza capitalised on some hesitant defending to put himself between the goalkeeper and the ball.
Oxford United keeper Ryan Clarke committed to the challenge and felled Loza, allowing Southampton loanee Lee Barnard to step up and convert the penalty. It was Barnard's first goal since returning to Roots Hall, where he played his football prior to his switch to Southampton.
Whilst Loza appeared bright throughout, he squandered a couple of notable opportunities by attempting to go it alone, rather than look for strike partner Lee Barnard.
The highlight of the teen's man-of-the-match debut came in the 86th minute. A dazzling run from deep with little support saw him ride three challenges from yellow shirts, before steadying himself and lifting the ball over the onrushing Clarke.
The performance capped a comprehensive win for Southend United, who are now just three points behind Oxford United, and have returned to 7th place in the League Two table.