Defender’s Pompey goal wish

Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler
Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dejan Stefanovic salutes the Fratton faithful during his visit to Pompey on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler

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A LEFT-FOOTED slash at the ball and his shot ballooned into the Fratton end.

After 74 appearances as a Pompey player, that maiden goal continues to elude Enda Stevens.

Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler

Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler

A stoppage-time attempt against Hartlepool summed up his team’s failure to finish off a number of excellent opportunities – and reflected personal demons.

Stevens has established himself as an integral part of Cook’s regime and a regular assist contributor from his left-back role.

However, that goal-scoring duck remains for the likeable Irishman.

By the 26-year-old’s own admission, the issue is weighing a little on his mind, those blank bullets continuing to wrack up.

I would take any goal at this stage, even one that just comes off me and goes in, just to take the pressure off

Enda Stevens

Not that he possesses a particularly good goal-scoring history, with a mere two in a professional career which kicked off at Shamrock Rovers in March 2010.

Both goals arrived during the 2014-15 campaign, each registered in loan spells for Northampton and Doncaster.

As it stands, nobody in Pompey’s squad has made more appearances for the club – and Stevens is desperate to open his goal account.

He said: ‘That chance I missed on Saturday was Conor Chaplin’s fault, he got in my way, he was whispering in my ear!

‘I thought it was a good opportunity, but it happened so quickly. As a defender, you are not really used to it, it probably fell to the wrong person at that time.

‘Chaplin was close to me and probably could have taken it on, but I just had to hit it.

‘The fact I still haven’t scored is frustrating. It is not affecting me, but it’s on my mind when I get into those positions.

‘I need to calm down a bit and maybe not slash at things too much.

‘Normally I try to cross for someone to have a tap-in with an open goal, I should be more selfish – and the lads say the same thing. Just shoot!

‘I’ve only got two professional goals. While playing in Ireland, I scored in friendlies but never competitively.

‘In training I score the odd goal, but usually I just cross them!

‘I would take any goal at this stage, even one that just comes off me and goes in, just to take the pressure off.’

Stevens opened his goal account in October 2014, netting for the Cobblers in a 3-1 defeat to an Oxford United side featuring Danny Rose.

Then, while on loan at Doncaster, he lashed home a left-foot shot against Colchester in February 2015.

Considering his lack of goal-scoring success, unsurprisingly both are fresh in his mind.

Stevens added: ‘At Grimsby, the keeper made a good save at Grimsby from me, but that was a cross!

‘At Northampton, Danny Rose was meant to be picking me up and I had a one-two before scoring with my right-foot. See you Rosey!

‘Then there was a scruffy half-volley from inside the box against Colchester. I scuffed it into the bottom corner.

‘I want to score at home, your main aim is to score at home.

‘Although I haven’t planned a celebration. I’ve no idea what I’d do if I scored, I would be in shock.’