Chaplin matches Kanu as Pompey scoring record continues

Kyle Bennett and Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kyle Bennett and Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kennedy lauded for crucial Pompey impact

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Conor Chaplin rose to direct Brandon Haunstrup’s pinpoint left-wing cross past Wigan goalkeeper Christian Walton.

In doing so it registered a DW Stadium equaliser – and marked the youngster finding the net in a fourth consecutive Pompey season.

Chaplin has notably achieved a Blues feat last recorded by Kanu in the 2011-12 campaign.

The goals continue to arrive for the much-admired 20-year-old product of the Blues’ Academy set-up.

It was April 11, 2015, when he opened his senior account during a 3-1 defeat at Morecambe under Andy Awford.

For his sixth outing of that 2014-15 season, Chaplin was employed from the bench in the 58th minute with Pompey trailing by two goals.

Then, five minutes from time, Matt Tubbs was positioned on the edge of the area when he slid in the youngster down the left.

Chaplin took one touch with his right foot and then rifled a sublime angled left-foot finish into the far corner of the net.

The Worthing talent who clambered through the Fratton Park ranks with much promise had opened his Pompey goal account.

Now he has scored in each of his four seasons while involved in the Blues’ first-team.

Kanu scored 28 times in 168 appearances, consisting of registering in all six of his Fratton Park campaigns, spanning from 2006 to 2012.

Another to net in four successive terms was Hermann Hreidarsson, from 2007 until 2011, scoring eight times.

However, his final Pompey campaign in 2011-12 involved just two appearances, yielding no goals.

Jed Wallace recorded 30 goals in 121 outings, yet they were over three seasons before he was sold to Wolves in the summer of 2015.

Meanwhile, Adam Webster played in five successive campaigns, although he netted only in the final three of those, from 2013 until 2016.

It means that a striker still six months away from his 21st birthday has established himself as a consistent scoring presence during the last four seasons.

Following his goal at Morecambe in what would prove to be Awford’s final match in charge, Chaplin has gone from strength to strength.

During his opening eight appearances of 2015-16, he bagged four goals, including the winner over Championship side Derby in the Capital One Cup.

Chaplin finished that maiden Paul Cook season with 11 goals from 38 outings, albeit chiefly featuring as a substitute.

It would be September 2016 when he first struck during the 2016-17 campaign which would yield the League Two title.

That goal arrived against Wycombe in a 4-2 victory – and a special one it was too from the substitute, heading over Jamal Blackman from the angle.

Chaplin finished with eight from 42 appearances, although none after levelling at Barnet in February 2017.

It meant the striker went into Saturday on the back of 18 matches without scoring.

However, a 76th-minute header ended that run – and extended another.