Striker revels in first Pompey goal
He has waited a while, but Ryan Bird was finally able to celebrate his first Football League goal at Torquay.
The summer signing from Burnham has had to be content with cameo appearances from the bench this season and recently spent a short spell on loan at Havant & Waterlooville.
But he was called off the bench for the final 15 minutes at Plainmoor, with Pompey trailing 1-0.
And Bird delivered, with a poacher’s finish to convert Jed Wallace’s cross and rescue a point for the Blues.
The striker said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling – especially scoring right in front of all the away fans.
“I thought I was going to get booked for celebrating with the supporters, but they pulled me in and I couldn’t get out!
“Jed got the ball out wide and sent a good cross in. The keeper was never going to get there, even though it trickled in.
“We’ve got a few striker injuries at the moment, so I just have to work hard in training and try to score more.
“I’ve been quite hard on myself for not scoring before, but I haven’t played loads of football.
“But I’ve learnt a lot. The goal came about because I peeled off the back of the defender, but I probably would have been ball-watching in the past.
“Now I’m thinking about my positioning – where the defender is and how I can get away from him.”
Despite coming from behind to earn a draw, Bird felt that Pompey could have done even better.
He said: “I thought we played well and deserved all three points. I didn’t even see their goal because I was still in the changing room, but they didn’t create much else.
“We were getting the ball into the box quite a lot towards the end, but sometimes you get those days when it just doesn’t go in for you.
“Torquay just packed the box and were heading and kicking the ball anywhere, but a point away from home isn’t the worst thing in the world.
“Now we need to keep winning our home games and everything’s looking positive.”