Striker thrilled with Cambridge winner
It is not difficult to work out which player Pompey fans have put on a pedestal.
‘He’s one of our own’ is the cry whenever Conor Chaplin takes to the pitch – and he showed just why he is so loved at Cambridge.
The diminutive teenage striker is not known for his ability in the air, despite that stunning strike against Wycombe.
But he expertly converted Christian Burgess’ cross with a looping header that left United keeper Will Norris grasping at thin air.
“It was great ball from big Burge,” said Chaplin. “I’m not going to beat two giant defenders, so I peeled off and I got a pin-point cross on the top of my head.
“Luckily, he saw my movement and a delivery like that is just asking to be put into the net, so I was thankful to see it go in.
“The keeper wasn’t coming out, so I knew what I had to and where I had to place the header.
“I scored the goal, but massive credit must go to the 10 men who were on the pitch for the last half hour.”
Chaplin was taken off following Amine Linganzi’s dismissal for a two-footed lunge and watched nervously as Pompey held on to their lead.
He said: “It’s so hard when you’re playing against 11 guys who are just looking to send balls into your box.
“We’ve worked on those physical moments in training during the week, so it’s nice to see that pay off.
“The centre-halves were winning plenty of headers and I thought they were excellent throughout the game.
“Cambridge had big lads all over the pitch, but that happens most weeks in League Two, so it’s something we’re used to.
“I didn’t enjoy watching from the sidelines at the end and don’t think I’ve got any nails left now. It’s horrible because you can’t affect things from the bench.”