Chaplin’s night of mixed Pompey emotions

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CONOR CHAPLIN reflected on a bittersweet occasion as he brought up his century.

The home-grown talent made his 100th Pompey appearance coming off the bench at half-time in last night’s 2-1 loss at Doncaster.

Conor Chaplin. Picture: Paul Currie/ Blueprint Media

Conor Chaplin. Picture: Paul Currie/ Blueprint Media

And Chaplin was the width of a post from helping his team to a draw when his 51st-minute free-kick hit the post.

The Blues’ prized possession spoke of his pride at chalking up the milestone at the age of just 20.

Chaplin knows he has many people to thank from his family to staff at Pompey who have helped him in his development during his fledgling career.

But there was frustration from the striker at the manner the home side were handed a two-goal lead in the first five minutes.

Chaplin said: ‘It’s a proud achievement.

‘I would have liked to have topped it off with a better result, though, to send the fans home happy.

‘I’m proud of the achievement and there’s a lot of people to thank who’ve helped me along the way.

‘It was disappointing not to score.

‘You know when you hit a free-kick well and I hit it well.

‘It didn’t seem to stop rising, though, and the whip didn’t seem to come until too late.

‘Because of that it’s probably not gone in and come off the post.

‘It’s frustrating but I’d forgotten about it to be honest and that’s how it will stay.

‘It was an unlucky night in a lot of ways, but you can’t expect to give teams two-goal head starts and get something out of the game. In fact, it could’ve been three goals.’

Doncaster keeper Ian Lawlor made a huge mistake to gift Pompey a way back into the game, as Mathieu Baudry’s backpass rolled under his foot and into the net on 54 minutes.

But Lawlor redeemed himself with a top-drawer stop to deny Jamal Lowe in stoppage time.

‘If anyone sees (David) De Gea make a save like that they are raving about it and saying he’s the best keeper in the world,’ Chaplin said.

‘It’s something you expect to be a goal. I had a great view of it and I genuinely thought it was in.

‘The ball was behind him when he saved it, so you have say it was an unbelievable save.’

Despite his disappointment, Chaplin took solace from Pompey’s work-rate in the second half.

He added: ‘We had a go, but after you go down to 10 men it’s always going to be hard.

‘We had to have a bit of a reshuffle. We had players out of position, but people’s attitudes were spot on and we want to work for each other.

‘Matty (Kennedy) ended up going left-back, there was me left wing and Oli (Hawkins) was up top on his own.

‘I think people can see we did give it a go, but it’s still frustrating.’