JOSH Ashby admits it will be a moment to cherish if he ends an 18-month wait to play for Oxford United tonight.

The midfielder is thought to be in the frame for a place in the squad for the Checkatrade Trophy game at home to Brighton & Hove Albion Under 21s.

While a small crowd is expected at the Kassam Stadium, it would be a special night for the 21-year-old if he got on.

The most recent of Ashby’s six appearances for the U’s was in a 1-1 draw at Newport County in April 2016.

He has since slipped down the pecking order, before rupturing knee ligaments in February playing against Kidlington in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup.

United awarded Ashby with a 12-month extension to his contract this summer and now he has returned to fitness there is no time to waste.

He said: “It was devastating at the time, but you’ve just got to look forward I guess.

“It’s a good opportunity to hopefully get in the squad and get some minutes.

“It (playing) would be a proud moment for me and my family as well, because they’ve been through it with me and helped massively.

“There are four or five really good players in my position and any of them could play regularly.

“Hopefully I get some minutes, impress and it plants a seed in the gaffer’s head.”

He added: “It’s make or break now, it’s a massive season for me.”

Another midfielder looking to make the most of the game is Xemi.

The 22-year-old’s two appearances this season have come in cup competitions and, like Ashby, the Spaniard is keen to make the most of the opportunity.

He said: “I’ve been with the team for two months getting used to English football and I’m really looking forward to playing on Tuesday.

“I’m really excited.

“Things can change really quickly, so I hope to have a good game and from that we’ll see what happens.”